Minesto’s fully operational Dragon 12 has emerged as a groundbreaking innovation in the renewable energy landscape, harnessing the power of tidal flows with a concept reminiscent of a futuristic military drone, yet behaving akin to a kite underwater. This pioneering technology marks a significant shift from traditional tidal turbines, as it maneuvers dynamically underwater, flying patterns faster than the currents to extract renewable energy. While solar energy remains a cornerstone of renewable energy grids, Minesto’s approach taps into the predictability of lunar energy, utilizing the regular ebb and flow of tides to generate power. Unlike stationary turbines, the Dragon series is anchored to the sea bed and navigates the currents like wind, optimizing energy extraction by flying in figure-eight patterns to accelerate itself.
The Dragon 12, with its imposing 12-meter wingspan and 28-ton weight, may seem colossal, but it offers unparalleled ease of installation compared to offshore wind turbines. Transportable in shipping containers, it requires minimal resources for deployment, making it an attractive option for offshore energy generation.
Crucially, the levelized cost of energy (LCoE) is a pivotal metric for any renewable energy project. Minesto’s projections suggest a promising LCoE of around $108/MWh, with further cost reductions anticipated as capacity scales up. This places it competitively against other tidal and offshore wind projects, offering a cost-effective solution for delivering predictable electricity to the grid.
The successful utilization of tidal energy in areas with suitable circumstances is demonstrated by the Dragon 12’s deployment in the Faroe Islands. Tidal currents are accelerated by the archipelago’s narrow waterways, which maximizes the possibility for energy harvest. Now that the Dragon is linked to the nearby electrical grid, Minesto has achieved a major turning point that signifies the start of large-scale commercialization.
The CEO of Minesto, Dr. Martin Edlund, highlighted the accomplishment and hailed it as a turning point in the history of the business. He praised the Dragon 12’s output, affordability, and capacity to supply the system with dependable electricity. The tidal kite technology developed by Minesto presents a viable route towards a cleaner, more robust energy future as the globe looks for sustainable energy alternatives.