Kite Power Systems, the company developing innovative kite-powered energy generation technology in Scotland, has secured its latest round of investment funding, a £2 million equity investment from the Scottish Investment Bank.
Kite Power Systems is a Scotland-based British company developing kite power technology that uses kites deployed in deep water locations to generate electricity.
The company consolidated its work in Scotland earlier this year, moving from a previous home-base in Essex, England. The move was made in part following the announcement that the company would establish a research and test facility on a Military of Defence range near Stranraer, and a £5 million investment round from E.ON, Schlumberger, and Shell Technology Ventures (STV) in December of last year.
The new round of financing announced this week — a £2 million equity investment from the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise — will help the company further work on its kite power system, which is made up of two kites which fly up to an altitude of 1500 feet, and which generate electricity through a winch system.
“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,” said David Ainsworth, KPS Business Development Director. “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.”
The announcement was made by Keith Brown, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, on a visit to Kellwood Engineering in Dumfries, where KPS’s latest 500kW demonstration model is currently being manufactured and assembled.
“Scotland has a long and proud history of innovation and Kite Power Systems’ pioneering approach to harnessing wind energy shows great promise,” said Keith Brown.
“The company has recently relocated from Essex to Glasgow and this £2m investment from the Scottish Investment Bank will enable it to expand further and demonstrate the latest iteration of its kite power technology in Scotland.
“Scotland has recently moved into the top group of EU nations as regards innovation performance, and the commercialisation of novel ideas – such as the technology being developed by Kite Power Systems – will help to drive us even further forward.”
The investment decision was also heralded by environmental groups as a boon for the industry and for Scotland.
“It’s great to see continued investment in Scotland’s renewable electricity innovation and shows the low carbon future is already flying high,” said Gina Hanrahan, Acting Head of Policy at WWF Scotland.
“Kite power’s an exciting technology where the power of the wind can be harnessed, particularly in places where it might be challenging to erect a wind turbine.
“We hope the innovation being shown by this project, and the many others across the country, inspires our politicians to give backing to ground breaking ideas in other areas of energy use like heat and transport to ensure Scotland hits its 50% renewable energy target by 2030.”