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- Google X Acquires Makani Power And Its Airborne Wind Turbines
After previously investing into the company, Google has now acquired Makani Power, a green energy startup that is currently building airborne wind turbines. The acquisition was first reported in Brad Stone’s Businessweek story about Google X and judging from Stone’s story, the team will join Google X. Google invested $10 million in the Alameda, CA-based company in 2006 and another $5 million in 2008. As far as we can see, this also marks the first time Google has acquired a company specifically for its Google X skunk works.
Stone reports that Google CEO Larry Page approved the acquisition, but as Google X’s director Astro Teller notes, Page said that X “could have the budget and the people to go do this, but that we had to make sure to crash at least five of the devices in the near future."
Makani says it hopes that this acquisition will provide it with ” the resources to accelerate our work to make wind energy cost competitive with fossil fuels.”
The acquisition comes just a week after the company completed the first autonomous flight of its Wing 7 prototype.
Here is how TechCrunch columnist Matylda Czarnecka described the project back in 2012:
The Makani Airborne Wind Turbines, which resemble mini airplanes, are launched when wind speeds reach 3.5 meters per second. Rotors on each blade help propel it into orbit, and double as turbines once airborne. The blades are tethered to the ground with a cord that delivers power to throw them into the sky and receives energy generated by the turbines to be sent to the grid-connected ground station.
Frederic Lardinois 23 May, 2013
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