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Google subsidiary Alphabet abandons flying wind turbine project


"Makani will no longer be an Alphabet business," said Fort Felker, general manager of the Internet giant's business.

A wind turbine (Illustration photo Illustration. - M. Fourmy / Sipa

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, will definitively separate from its subsidiary dedicated to the design of small wind turbines flying at the end of a cable, Makani, announced the general manager of this entity on Tuesday. Created in 2006 by kite-surfers curious about the potential of sails to use wind energy, the start-up was bought in 2013 by the Internet giant to be integrated into its laboratory dedicated to futuristic projects.

To see if the start-up could stand on its own two feet, Alphabet had already decided in 2019 to split Makani from the rest of its activities. "Creating a whole new type of wind power technology involves meeting business and engineering challenges," Makani general manager Fort Felker said on Tuesday in a post on Medium.

Makani, affiliated with other missions

"Despite solid technical progress, the road to commercialization is longer and more risky than expected, so from today, Makani will no longer be part of the Alphabet," he said. "This does not mean that this is the end for the technology that Makani has developed, but it does mean that Makani will no longer be an Alphabet company," said the official.

Makani had already started in 2019 to collaborate with the Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell to test off the coast of Norway its product: a fine wing carrying eight mini-turbines and connected by a cable to a fastener, resembling from a distance a kite. Shell is currently exploring solutions to further develop Makani's technology, said Fort Felker.


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Source: 20minf

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