Minesto’s Utility-Scale Tidal Energy Kite About to Take Off

Minesto's Dragon 12 tidal energy device (Credit: Minesto)
Minesto's Dragon 12 tidal energy device (Credit: Minesto)

Swedish tidal energy company Minesto has completed the installation of subsea infrastructure and verified the launch and recovery procedures for the 1.2 MW tidal energy device that will soon be deployed offshore Faroe Islands.

The device, dubbed Dragon 12, is about to take off as Minesto wraps up works on the connection of the export cable to the foundation for the device, making the Vestmannasund site ready for power production.

Completion of subsea infrastructure included relocating the preinstalled junction box at the end of the export cable into a frame on the foundation to create the plug-and-play connection with the kite tether.

Activities in Vestmanna are ramping-up this winter with satisfying performance from Minesto’s smaller device Dragon 4 in terms of electricity production in November and December, in parallel with the Dragon 12 system installation work.

Minesto has also performed the launch and recovery operations for Dragon 12, its first megawatt-scale tidal kite weighing 25 tons.

According to the company, the operations developed for the Dragon 4 – which is rated at 100 kW with the weight of 2.5 tons - were proven equally effective with the large-scale kite utilizing the same small work vessel.

The commissioning of the launch and recovery system (LARS) for the 1.2 MW device was completed on January 10.

“The scale-up of the powerplant has not required changes in the smaller Dragon 4 kite operation for launch and recovery when applied to the Dragon 12. The D12 is ten times heavier, three times larger, uses a longer tether and is installed at larger water depth. These changes in the kite parameters proved to be fully manageable with the existing LARS method, thus verifying both technical method and assessments of operating costs,” Minesto said in a statement.

”A complete run-through of the launch and recovery of the Dragon 12 powerplant over the last 24 hours has successfully verified the core marine operations of our kite-based power plants. This is a truly unique procedure at the core of our competitive LCOE-levels”, added Martin Edlund, Minesto’s CEO.

The commissioning of the Dragon 12 continues at the site, which is expected to culminate in the production of the electricity. The operation of the smaller Dragon 4 tidal energy device will continue in parallel, Minesto said.

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