Ocean energy developer Minesto has reached a significant milestone with its tidal kite Dragon 12, marking three months of uninterrupted testing since its installation in February 2024. The Dragon 12 has been reliably connected to the grid and performing as anticipated at its site in Vestmanna, Faroe Islands. This period also sees the operation of an array of tidal kites, including the 1.2 MW Dragon 12 and a 100kW Dragon 4, providing crucial production data for future array expansions.

The successful installation and operation of the 1.2 MW Dragon 12 in early February has led to a continuous three-month period of testing and electricity generation, yielding valuable insights into the commercial viability of Minesto's Dragon Class technology at scale. Real-world data from the commercial-scale Dragon 12 is now available, showcasing its autonomous functionality, performance, and service intervals.

“With the generated test data at hand, we can now conclude that Dragon Class is ready for batch production to bring the first tidal energy arrays to life,” said Dr Martin Edlund, CEO of Minesto. 

Additionally, the presence of both the Dragon 12 and Dragon 4 in the Vestmanna strait constitutes the world's first mini array of tidal energy kites, allowing for new avenues of verification and learning in crucial areas such as kite-park design and performance optimization.

Despite the active operations involving two systems, Minesto maintains a cost-efficient setup, utilizing the same small-scale work vessels and quaysides for all kites at one site. The company intends to sustain electricity production and testing as part of its commercial rollout strategy, aiming to demonstrate the competitive advantage of Dragon class technology, ensure the capability to deliver commercially viable products, and enhance performance to broaden the exploitable market.

“It is both satisfactory and vital to see that the February installation of Dragon 12 has resulted in a three-month period of successful production testing. Our major investments in a full-scale D12 powerplant and extensive test-site infrastructure delivers full value in generating production data that show evidence of commercial readiness. This is crucial technical data that our partners and site project investors have been asking for and we now are providing to reduce perceived risks in multiple ongoing sales and project investment-dialogues,” added Dr Edlund.