Kite Power Systems (KPS), a UK-based company developing a disruptive technology for the wind energy sector has secured a £2m equity investment from the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB).

The company’s new kite power technology developed in Scotland is claimed to have the potential to transform the offshore wind generation industry throughout the world.

Compared to conventional wind turbines, KPS’ power systems are said to involve low manufacturing costs and lesser requirement of construction and installation materials.

Its power system comprises two kites which have the ability to fly up to a height of 1500ft. By using tethers, the kites are attached to a winch system that produces electricity as it spools out.

SIB through its investment joins E.ON, Schlumberger and Shell Technology Ventures which had committed to a combined investment of £5m in KPS in December last year.

KPS business development director David Ainsworth said: “This very welcome new investment from the SIB is an endorsement of the extensive R&D work the KPS team has carried out and is a further vote of confidence in our technology and our business.

“Along with the support of our other investors, this backing will accelerate KPS’s commercial development plans towards deploying lower cost, deep-water offshore wind energy on a global scale.”

For KPS, the new investment comes after the start-up had re-located to Scotland from Essex. The company had also set up a head office in Glasgow along with a research and test facility near Stranraer.

KPS has been carrying out flight tests of its 40kW system in Scotland in the recent times. It has also got the planning consent for the deployment of a new 500kW power system which is to follow the delivery of a completed model in August.

The start-up says that its power technology can be deployed both offshore and onshore. Power generation through its kite technology would not need subsidies from governments owing to the lower capital and operational costs it is associated with.

KPS plans to develop a 3MW onshore system at the test facility and install a similar sized power system in offshore waters.

Image: Scottish Cabinet secretary, Keith Brown (right) with David Ainsworth alongside the winch unit for KPS’ kite power generator. Photo: courtesy of Kite Power Systems Ltd.