Delft-based Kitepower has secured €3 million for the further development of its innovative airborne wind energy systems. The investment comes from the energy innovation fund ENERGIIQ, Stichting ifund, and Windhandel Beheer, each investing €1 million.
The Dutch startup will use the fresh capital to further develop and commercialise its innovative airborne wind energy system (AWES), which has the potential to significantly reduce CO2 emissions across diesel-dependent industries. Kitepower’s mobile energy systems can be deployed in remote rural locations where harsh environmental conditions make it impossible to install conventional renewable energy systems.
Kitepower, co-founded in 2016 by CEO Johannes Peschel and TU Delft associate professor Roland Schmehl, is a spin-off from the TU Delft’s kite power research group. The company has developed its 100kW AWES with a ‘Fast Track to Innovation’ grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 framework programme, guided by a mentoring partnership with tech incubator YES!Delft and with support from angel investor and wind energy expert Henk Hutting.
“This investment will significantly boost our ability to refine and develop our system and organisation. Our technology presents an opportunity to disrupt the global renewable energy market by the ease of operation and increased capacity. We look forward to a successful collaboration with many learning opportunities”, says Johannes Peschel.
A source from Windhandel Beheer stated: “Henk Hutting, founder of Windhandel Beheer, due to his impressive career in the renewable energy sector, has been an important investor and advisor for the company in recent years. Even though he passed away only a few months ago, Henk’s legacy lives on in many ways and we are proud to count Kitepower as part of it.”
Stefan van Eijk, fund manager at Stichting ifund, says: “We believe Kitepower will be a catalyst for airborne wind energy, thereby enabling renewable energy for a completely new segment. We are excited about the years ahead and will support Kitepower in the further commercialisation of the technology throughout.”
Stichting ifund invests in impact-first startups aiming to sustain the long-term quality of life by stimulating the transition to a sustainable society in which renewable energy is generated locally and people have access to organic food and clean water. ENERGIIQ is the energy innovation fund of the Province of South Holland and is administered by InnovationQuarter. Apart from financial support, the investors can provide access to a broad network of experts and contacts to propel the commercialisation rollout.