Oil services firms Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A - Get Report) (RDS.B - Get Report) , Schlumberger (SLB - Get Report) , and EON (EONGY) , have together backed power generating kites that will commence testing in the UK this summer with the goal of developing technology that would displace offshore wind turbines, Bloomberg reports.
The initiative Kite Power Systems, known as KPS, is building a 17-meter device that flies on air currents above the ground and generates power by pulling on a cable.
"The reason we are interested in something like this is that it has potential to reduce the cost of offshore wind in the future," said Geert van de Wouw, managing director of Shell Technology Ventures BV. "Fundamentally, looking at the science, flying the kite at high altitudes so there's lots of wind, and the cost of materials is quite a lot lower than a normal offshore wind turbine."
Kite Power Systems will start testing its machines in July or August at a site in Scotland. It raised 5 million pounds ($6.4 million) from the three energy giants last December.