Project Summary

Wind energy is key for NWE to meet the Paris Agreements. NWE’s extended coastlines provide huge potential. But today’s wind turbines encounter limitations, both on-shore (space, public acceptance) and off-shore (space, water depth). SMEs in NWE are strongly positioned to develop a novel alternative that addresses these issues: Airborne Wind Energy Systems (AWES), aircraft tethered to compact ground-based generators. With AWES, new locations for wind energy can be unlocked (incl. floating offshore, rural onshore). Energy is harvested efficiently, reducing materials, foundations and carbon footprint, while lower visual impact can ease public acceptance.

MegaAWE brings utility-scale AWES ("MW-AWES") closer to the market, readying SMEs for its roll-out in NWE and beyond. It shall achieve this by:
- endurance demonstration, to improve investability and secure interest of utilities
- demonstration of key enabling modules at MW-scale, to derisk planning of commercial prototype demo
- an execution plan for MW-AWES commercial prototype demo, to ensure relevant innovation focus (incl. site & user requirements, design guidelines, system sizing & costing), validated by regions & users.

MegaAWE investment/outputs address the recommendations of the EU-commissioned 2018 Ecorys study on AWES:
- AWES test hub in Mayo, IE
- Precommercial AWES architecture demonstrated at 150kW in on-field pilot
- Three key enabling AWES modules at >1MW, demonstrated in-lab
- 20 Enterprises supported
- “MegaAWE” Platform, supporting MW-AWES development and future roll-out, matching needs & opportunities of regions & users with solutions of developers.

MegaAWE shall raise MW-AWES from TRL5 to 7, strengthen innovation capacity of 12 SMEs and secure supply chain & investment towards the next step, commercial demonstration. By 2033, 50 AWES installed (150MW capacity) could then provide RE to 150.000 additional households in NWE.

Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
Mayo County Council Aras an Chontae
Name Contact Name Email Country
Airborne Wind Europe AISBL Udo Zillmann Belgium
Ampyx Power B.V. Pim Breukelman Netherlands
Koninklijke DSM N.V. Rigo Bosman Netherlands
Parkburn Precision Handling Systems Sam Bull United Kingdom
Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult Thomas Wildsmith United Kingdom
Kiteswarms GmbH Reinhart Paelinck Germany
SmartBay Ireland Mairead Elliott Ireland
RWE Renewables GmbH Anika Borm Germany
Société Anonyme Belge de Constructions Aéronautiques - Limburg Guerric de Crombrugghe Belgium
European Marine Energy Center Matthew Finn United Kingdom
Diinef AS Per Lindholdt
Europaeisches Institut fuer Innovation - Technologie e.V. Chris Ashe Germany
Bretagne Développement Innovation Hélène Morin France

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