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WATCH: Wind Turbine Blimps Can Power Remote Locations

An airborne wind turbine will soon be deployed to Alaska, where it will generate electricity at high altitudes and send it to a dozen homes below.

A Massachusetts company will soon deploy a portable wind energy system using a conventional turbine blade inside a cylindrical blimp that  floats about 1,000 feet above the ground, drawing on the stronger winds at  that altitude. The Buoyant Airborne Turbine (BAT), developed by  Altaeros, is designed to be used in off-the-grid locations where importing diesel fuel or other energy is expensive. The company recently announced a $1.3 million demonstration project in Alaska that will supply power to about a dozen homes. Altaeros says it is also working on deals to install projects in remote locations in Canada and Australia. The BAT, made of industrial fabric, sends power back via high-strength tethers that hold it to the ground. Altaeros is one of several companies developing wind turbines that hover above the earth or fly, including  Makani, which has invented a turbine that looks like a flying wing. Makani was acquired last year by Google X.

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