Makani Power

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Makani Power
Industry Wind Energy
Founded 2006
Key people
Saul Griffith, Corwin Hardham, Donald Montague, Damon Vander Lind
Owner Alphabet Inc.
Number of employees
Parent X

Makani Power is an Alameda, California-based company that developed airborne wind turbines with the support of Google X and the U.S. Department of Energy office of ARPA-E. Makani is a leader in the development of airborne wind power extraction systems.[1] Makani was founded in 2006 by Saul Griffith, Don Montague, and Corwin Hardham.[2] It received funding as part of's Renewable Energy cheaper than Coal (RE<C) initiative.[3] "Makani" is Hawaiian for "wind."[4] One of the founders, Corwin Hardham, died in 2012 at age 38.[5]

Mechanical progress for their kite system[edit]

In order to meet its goal of producing low-cost renewable energy, the Makani kite-energy system uses autonomous tethered wings which fly in a circular path and generate electricity via wind turbines mounted upon the main wing, a method already in public domain; expert Miles Loyd in 1980 stated that for large scale purposes flying the generators was expected to be disfavored because of the need to fly the mass of the generators;[6] many of Makani Power competitors have generators kept on the ground, like KiteGen, Italy.[7] The electricity is transmitted to the ground via an electrical cable within the kite's tether.[8] Several patent applications have been made; some have been granted.

On May 23, 2013, Makani Power was acquired by Google and will be folded into Google X.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kirsner, Scott. "A generator that's lighter than air — and relatively light on the wallet". 
  2. ^ "Company History". 
  3. ^ "Investing in a cleaner energy revolution". 
  4. ^ Wagner, Eric (7 December 2012). "High-altitude Wind Power". Conservation. University of Washington. Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Makani Power's Corwin Hardham Dies; Service Scheduled". Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Miles Loyd, 1980:
  7. ^ AWES Museum || KiteGen
  8. ^ Harper, Ben (21 March 2011). "Start-ups are devising kites to turn wind power into a cheap source of power". The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  9. ^ "Google acquires kite-power generator". BBC News. 23 May 2013. 

External links[edit]