A groundbreaking method of harnessing renewable energy from the oceans has proven to be highly successful. This innovative technology mimics the movement of a kite to efficiently extract energy from tidal and ocean currents. Currently, the power generator is supplying electricity to the grid in the Faroe Islands. The tidal energy kite, known as Dragon 12, boasts an impressive wingspan of 12 meters and weighs 28 tons. Tethered to the sea floor in a narrow channel between the islands, its design enables it to perform repeated figure-of-eight movements, driving water flow to spin a turbine and generate electricity.
The power plant was created by Minesto, a Swedish company specializing in marine energy technology. While Minesto has not disclosed the precise amount of electricity being produced, estimates suggest that it could potentially power around 1,000 homes. In a press statement, Dr Martin Edlund, CEO of Minesto, described this production of electricity by MegaWatt scale powerplant as a significant milestone for his company. He stated that this technology provides powerful, cost-effective and predictable electricity to the grid and sets up renewable energy expansion in different regions worldwide.
The cost of tidal power generation using this Minesto system appears lower than other tidal projects and only slightly higher than offshore wind turbines’ cost. Its affordability combined with ease of deployment and regularity of tidal currents makes it a competitive alternative to offshore wind generation’s future development and implementation worth monitoring.