BBC News has published a major article about the Faroe Islands’ efforts to become environmentally sustainable, focusing largely on the tidal ‘kite’ renewable energy project in Vestmannasund.
The news site offered a detailed account of the tidal energy system installed a year ago by Swedish engineering firm Minesto in collaboration with the Faroe Islands national grid SEV. The DG100 tidal energy system has been delivering electricity to the Faroese grid under a power purchase agreement between Minesto and SEV.
The two tidal kites installed look much like aircraft, however are in fact high-tech tidal turbines that generate electricity from the power of ocean currents. The kites, dubbed ‘Havfrúgvin’ (‘The Mermaid’ in English) and ‘Drekin’ (‘The Dragon’ in English), respectively, are tethered to the fjord seabed by metal cables. With a five-meter wing span the units move underwater in a figure-of-eight pattern, absorbing energy from the running tide. According to Minesto, however, the plan is to use larger kites.
“Their movement is generated by the lift exerted by the water flow — just as a plane flies by the force of air flowing over its wings,” the BBC pointed out, adding that Minesto’s tidal energy technology differs radically from most other tidal energy technologies which use a principle similar to terrestrial wind turbines.
The Vestmannasund project is set to become an important backup to treacherously unpredictable wind in the context of the Faroe Islands’ official target of net-zero emission energy generation by 2030.
The Havfrúgvin arrived in the summer of 2020 and the the Drekin arrived in March 2021 and the DG100 system has thus been delivering electricity to the Faroese power grid since winter 2020.
“Each kite can produce enough electricity to power approximately 50 to 70 homes,” the BBC noted. “But according to Minesto chief executive, Martin Edlund, larger-scale beasts will enter the fjord in 2022.”
“The new kites will have a 12-meter wingspan, and can each generate 1.2 megawatts of power,” Mr. Edlund was quoted as saying. “We believe an array of these Dragon-class kites will produce enough electricity to power half of the households in the Faroes.”
Likewise featured in the piece were seaweed farmer Ocean Rainforest alongside salmon farmer Hiddenfjord.
The article also referenced the business organization Burðardygt Vinnulív (Faroese Business Sustainability Initiative). “These businesses have committed to sustainability goals which will be independently assessed,” the organization’s chief executive Ana Holden Peters was quoted as saying.