Google buys airborne wind power firm

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has purchased Makani Power, a maker of airborne wind power technology.

The California-based Makani has a long history with Google. The search engine company was an early investor in Makani, which was started in 2006 by three partners seeking to “harness the untapped wind resources high above us,” according to its website.

The firm’s Airborne Wind Turbine (AWT) evolved from a soft textile kite powering a generator on the ground to a rigid, high performance wing with onboard generation. In 2010 Makani received a grant from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) to design and test a 30 kW prototype of the final utility scale product.

“We are happy to announce that Makani Power is being acquired by Google,” the firm said in a statement posted on its website May 23.

“This formalizes a long and productive relationship between our two companies, and will provide Makani with the resources to accelerate our work to make wind energy cost competitive with fossil fuels,” the firm said.

Google has become a major investor in renewable energy.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.