ENGIE and SkySails Power GmbH are leading the way in harnessing high-altitude wind power with groundbreaking renewable energy generation technology. The companies have now consolidated a collaboration on two international pilot projects.
Within this collaboration, ENGIE has acquired two innovative airborne wind energy (AWE) systems in the form of SkySails wind-kites, each capable of generating up to 200 kW of power. The two pilot projects will not only serve as real testing grounds for the airborne technology but will also integrate it into comprehensive hybrid renewable energy and storage systems enabling the exploration of multi-renewable energy source interactions and grid compatibility. ENGIE, with the assistance of ENGIE Laborelec, will diligently operate and assess the SkySails Power System as part of the pilot projects to evaluate and confirm its technological capabilities. Following successful completion of the pilot phases, both companies intend to further expand their collaboration to encompass additional locations and delve into wind farm applications.
The first project, named “Aquilon,” is situated at the ENGIE company Storengy Deutschland GmbH site in Peckensen, Germany. It will utilise Skysails’ innovative kite airborne technology in conjunction with solar photovoltaics and an advanced redox flow battery with the goal of managing energy and power within this hybrid system; making best use of clean energy technologies to avoid 100% greenhouse gas emissions at an industrial site.
The second pilot project will concentrate on taking clean energy to remote or isolated areas like islands, where access to energy is crucial for populations reliant on fossil fuels for power. Scaling up such a project for thousands of inhabitants, incorporating biomass, solar, wind, AWE technology, and storage, presents a challenge that must be addressed to pave the way for new market solutions aimed at achieving 100% renewable energy on islands.
Daniel Mercer, Head of business development at Storengy Deutschland GmbH, says: The airborne technology, which ENGIE has eagerly supported and implemented due to its significant potential, is part of this innovative hybrid project pushing for the integration of multiple energy technologies. This initiative not only aims to validate the feasibility of each technology but also to explore their synergistic interactions, and the emerging technology has the potential to be deployed in nearly any location, making it an ideal complement to existing renewable technologies.
ENGIE embraces the opportunity to move forward with a technology that has been under observation for the past 11 years, and is currently poised for large scale realisation as AWE technology shows noteworthy potential across a spectrum of uses and dimensions. Its strength being that airborne uses the stronger, more consistent, high-altitude wind resources to more consistently push energy generation further towards carbon neutrality. This seamlessly complements the existing portfolio of renewable technologies by ENGIE. It opens up the perspective to a visionary outlook, spanning across decentralized and expansive onshore projects, while also laying the groundwork for future explorations into offshore airborne wind ventures.
The lightweight and compact design of our airborne wind energy system ensures minimal impact on both people and the environment, making it feasible for installation even in the most remote locations. The systems practically have no visible effect on the landscape and barely cast a shadow”, explains Stephan Wrage, CEO of SkySails Power GmbH. Firmly believing that these benefits can further increase acceptance for more innovative wind energy systems, he adds “This makes our SkySails technology an exciting alternative to traditional renewable power generation.
ENGIE is a leading global group in low-carbon energy and services. With its 96,000 employees, its customers, its partners and its stakeholders, the Group is committed every day to accelerating the transition to a carbon-neutral world, thanks to more energy-efficient and more environmentally-friendly solutions. Guided by its purpose, ENGIE reconciles economic performance and positive impact on people and the planet by relying on its key businesses (gas, renewable energies, services) to offer competitive solutions to its customers.
part of ENGIE Research & Innovation
Laborelec, an entity of the ENGIE Group, is a leading centre of expertise and research in the area of electrical energy. Drawing on the skills of 370 specialist engineers and technicians, it provides operational support, technical consulting, and applied R&D services, operating across the entire electricity value chain. Its services support a wide range of customers in electricity generation, transmission, distribution, storage, and end-use, with a particular focus on the energy transition and net zero carbon. Laborelec, now part of ENGIE’s Research & Innovation division, is a global player active in more than 60 countries.
About SkySails Power GmbH
SkySails Power GmbH develops and markets systems for generating electricity from high-altitude wind – called airborne wind energy (AWE) systems. With this technology, SkySails can utilise the yet untapped power of high-altitude wind for the first time.
SkySails Power GmbH is a fully owned subsidiary of SkySails Group GmbH. SkySails Group GmbH and its subsidiaries are headquartered in Hamburg/Germany. The Group employs around 100 people and operates a production facility in Seevetal, Lower Saxony, as well as a pilot plant for high-altitude wind energy in Klixbüll, Schleswig-Holstein.
About the Peckensen gas storage site
At its Peckensen site, Storengy Deutschland operates a cavern storage facility with a working gas volume of around 344 million standard cubic meters distributed over five storage caverns. With five compressors, the injection capacity is 315,000 standard cubic meters per hour, while the maximum withdrawal capacity is 860,000 standard cubic meters per hour. The storage facility is optimally connected to the Steinitz grid interconnection point and the Ontras transport network via two high-capacity connecting pipelines. Peckensen is Storengy’ s largest cavern storage facility in Germany.
Storengy Germany/Storengy Deutschland, a company of the ENGIE Group, is one of the leading gas storage companies in Germany. With around 150 employees across Germany, we are a reliable partner for storage services: We plan, build and operate storage facilities and market their storage capacities. Our mission is to generate and store climate-neutral energy in order to sustainably supply tomorrow’s generations. To this end, we develop innovative solutions for the storage of hydrogen and the generation of renewable gases.