Makani Power, the company who made an airborne wind turbine a few years ago, has been acquired by Google for an undisclosed sum. Google had already invested about $15 million in them and if they bought the idea it may mean there’s something worth following about Makani.
The Makani Power team will now joing Google X: “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,” says a company press release.
Having committed more than $1 billion to wind and solar projects, Makani is not the only one in the business that’s been acquired by Google. Techcrunch got a statement from Google: “Makani Power’s technology has opened the door to a radical new approach to wind energy. They’ve turned a technology that today involves hundreds of tons of steel and precious open space into a problem that can be solved with really intelligent software. We’re looking forward to bringing them into Google X.”
One issue with Makani’s technology is the relatively recent finding saying that high-altitude winds are some 200 times lower in intensity than previously thought (Max Planck institute). The good part is that their M1 wind turbine produces clean energy that’s cheaper than coal-derived power (2010).