Austin’s 2015 South by South West Festival featured music, expos, and giant, airborne wind turbines. During the Interactive portion of the festival, Astro Teller, the head of Google X, accounted Google’s intention to begin launching is 84-foot airborne wind turbines:
There is an enormous benefit to going up higher. If this works as designed it would meaningfully speed up the global move to renewable energy.
Known as Project Makani, Google has seen success with its smaller, 28-foot models so far. It will begin launching its 84-foot, full-scale models next month.
The turbines represent a significant improvement over traditional turbines. Their tethers allow them to fly as high as 1,400 feet, nearly double the height of the largest wind turbines. At the higher altitudes, wind speed is faster and more consistent, allowing them to generate more energy.