Together with smaller investors and a tax relief grant, the combined multi-million-euro package will cover the majority of planned activity for 2024.
Kitemill CEO Thomas Hårklau said it marks a pivotal moment enabling the Norwegian innovator to refine its ground-breaking technology and position itself firmly at the forefront of the Airborne Wind Energy industry.
"Kitemill is kicking-off 2024 with a significant investment, demonstrating faith in Airborne Wind Energy as a sustainable and viable alternative energy source," said Hårklau. "The involvement of Expanding Dreams marks a tipping point for Kitemill and the sector, as we prepare to take large strides towards commercialization. With this new influx of resources, we aim to expedite the development of our current model, KM1, and the forthcoming KM2. These models represent significant advancements in harnessing high-altitude winds to generate clean, efficient energy.
Kitemill has spent more than a decade building world-class knowledge, IP and assets. It has led and consolidated the AWE sector, previously acquiring Kite Power Systems (KPS) and eKite while securing significant investments from En-Vision Europe Limited, Ignatia and the European Innovation Council. The firm's new KM2 prototype, which has been in development for more than two years, features a 16-metre wingspan and four propellers for vertical take-off and landing. The device is capable of generating an average power cycle of 100kW.
Expanding Dreams is the investment vehicle of the Polderman family from the Netherlands. Led by Andre Polderman, it focuses on supporting innovative and sustainable technology solutions. With a background in SaaS software plus extensive engineering expertise, Mr Polderman's knowledge and passion for cutting-edge technology has been instrumental in recognizing the potential of Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) and, in particular, the promise held by Kitemill.
Polderman said, "Our decision to invest in Kitemill stems from a deep belief in the power of innovation to solve some of our most pressing energy challenges. Kitemill's vision aligns perfectly with this future of sustainable, alternative energy sources. We have always admired Norway and its people, and it's exciting to be part of a venture that's so close to our second home and at the same time holding so much promise."
Kitemill CFO Asgeir Løno said, "We are thrilled to welcome Expanding Dreams and the Polderman family into our journey. Their investment is a testament to the viability of AWE, its potential to make an important and large impact, and a major boost in our mission to revolutionize renewable energy generation."
AWE technology offers a series of unique benefits compared to traditional wind energy systems. Harvestable high-altitude wind power is around 4 times stronger than ground level resources. AWE also allows for continuous adjustment of harvesting altitude seeking the best available wind resource. This high-capacity factor ensures a more consistent and stable energy supply alleviating intermittency issues experienced by more established renewables, and supporting future hybrid energy models.
In addition, AWE substantially reduces material consumption by up to 90%, replacing wind turbine towers with lightweight tethers.