Google Gets Into Power, Acquires Makani Wind Power

Google is officially a technology empire, as it expands its domain into an ever-increasing number of markets. The latest area that Google is toying with is renewable energy, as the company has acquired Makani Power, a company that Google has apparently been investing in since 2007.

To be more specific, the wing of Google that bought Makani Power is the somewhat mysterious Google X lab (birthplace of Google Glass), which is Google’s moonshot think tank and makes the acquisition all the more intriguing.

Makani Wing 7

Makani Power makes autonomous unmanned wind turbine aircraft that are tethered to a terrestrial source--in other words, kite power. The company has just recently been making successful flights of its Makani Airborne Wind Turbine (AWT), which flies between 800 and 1,950 feet off the ground; the higher winds at those altitudes forces the propeller blades to rotate rapidly, which produces electricity via a generator.

The prototype they recently tested, the Wing 7, can generate some 30 kW of power, but the company already has plans drawn up for a 600 kW AWT. With Google’s brains and financial backing, they’ll presumably be able to push forward technologically leaps and bounds.