Minesto’s Dragon 12, a fully operational and dynamic tidal energy device, is making waves in the renewable energy sector with its innovative approach. Resembling a futuristic military drone, the Dragon 12 behaves like an underwater kite, utilizing tidal flows to fly patterns faster than the currents, effectively harvesting renewable energy. Unlike traditional tidal turbines that remain stationary in the water, Minesto’s Dragon series is anchored to the sea bed and maneuvers like kites, optimizing energy extraction from tidal currents.

Similar to land-based wind energy kites that follow figure-eight patterns to outpace the wind, the Dragon underwater device employs dynamic movements to extract more energy from a given tidal current. This unique approach expands the economic feasibility of harnessing energy from slower tidal flows. Despite its substantial size, with a 12-meter wingspan and a weight of 28 tons, the Dragon 12 offers easier installation using a single boat and a sea bed tether.

In terms of cost-effectiveness, Minesto projected a levelized cost of energy (LCoE) of approximately $108/MWh for the first hundred megawatts of installed capacity, with the potential for costs to decrease to as low as $54/MWh in the future. This competitive pricing positions the Dragon 12 as a powerful and economically viable solution for tidal energy harvesting.

Deployed in the Faroe Islands, where tidal currents are funneled through narrow channels, the Dragon 12 capitalizes on ideal conditions for effective energy extraction. The Faroe Islands, situated in the North Atlantic, present a promising location for Minesto’s technology to deliver predictable electricity to the grid. Recently connected to the local power grid, the Dragon 12 marks a significant milestone for Minesto, showcasing its prowess in producing grid-connected electricity with a mega-watt scale powerplant.

Dr. Martin Edlund, CEO of Minesto, expressed the company’s pride and excitement, stating, “The competitiveness of the Dragon 12 is straight to the point; it’s powerful, cost-effective, and feeds predictable electricity to the grid.” This achievement underscores the potential of Minesto’s underwater kite-like technology to revolutionize tidal energy harvesting and contribute to the global transition towards sustainable energy solutions.

By Impact Lab