Environmental assessment and planning

MegaAWE – Maturing utility scale airborne wind energy towards commercialisation.

Project description: 

Expanding wind energy capacity is vital for Northwestern Europe to meet the Paris Agreement goals. Airborne Wind Energy Systems (AWES), producing energy with kites, gliders and drones tethered to compact ground-based generators, offer an innovative alternative to harvest energy from high altitude wind, bridging the gap in the ability of the existing wind energy technology. This technology has the potential to unlock new wind energy locations while reducing environmental footprint in terms of material use, offering lower visual impact. 

MegaAWE was set up to bring utility-scale AWES closer to the market and increase the level of the technology readiness. To achieve this, project partners are building an AWES test hub in County Mayo which would allow to safely conduct test flights, generate the necessary data on capacity and output, showcase the technology and develop the know-how. Moreover, researchers and developers involved in the project collaborate to enhance different elements of the technology. In addition, MegaAWE partners are also building a network of contacts and promote the AWE technology to secure interest from supply chain actors and future investors. 

Scope of our work: 

  • Site identification for AWES deployment. Implementation of AWES involves complexities and characteristics that cannot (necessarily) be generalized from within studies of established wind turbine technology. Making use of Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping tools, BlueWise Marine developed an analytical tool to identify suitable space for airborne wind energy devices, adopting adequate criteria and technical requirements that integrates and evaluates a variety of geographic, technological, socioeconomic, environmental, and political constraints. An analysis was already conducted for Germany’s land area, showing potential capacities of over 100GW depending on the combination of parameters selected. This methodology is suitable for application to other geographic areas and technologies. 
  •  BlueWise will also contribute to unlocking new locations by advising on the suitability of AWE technology for offshore deployment and development of offshore design concepts. 
  • Leading communications activities. BlueWise Marine team overseas and coordinates the implementation of the MegaAWE communication activities, including the production of content about airborne wind technology, branded project marketing and promotional assets, social media outreach, strategic network development and strengthening of the MegaAWE partnership, engagement in relevant public events and reporting.  


MegaAWE is an Interreg NWE funded project and will run from 2020 to 2023 with a total budget of €12.29 million.

BlueWise Marine is part of this consortium led by Mayo County Council and funded by the Interreg NWE Regional Development Fund; MegaAWE will bring utility-scale AWES (“MW-AWES”) closer to the market, readying SMEs for its roll-out in NWE and beyond. It shall achieve this by:

  • endurance demonstration, to improve investability and secure interest of utilities;
  • demonstration of key enabling modules at MW-scale, to de-risk planning of commercial prototype demo;
  • developing an execution plan for MW-AWES commercial prototype demo, to ensure relevant innovation focus (incl. site & user requirements, design guidelines, system sizing & costing), validated by regions & users.

Project partners:

  • Airborne Wind Europe AISBL
  • Ampyx Power B.V.
  • Parkburn Precision Handling Systems
  • Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult
  • Kiteswarms GmbH
  • BlueWise Marine
  • RWE Renewables GmbH
  • Société Anonyme Belge de Constructions Aéronautiques – Limburg
  • European Marine Energy Center
  • Europaeisches Institut fuer Innovation – Technologie e.V.
  • Bretagne Développement Innovation


Lead partner:

Mayo County Council


Download MegaAWE info brief 

Read the MegaAWE op-ed about airborne wind energy at World Economic Forum website

More information available on the project website.