The Carnegie Institution and California State University have identified New York City as a prime location for high flying wind turbine kites. The turbine kites would fly between 20,000 ft and 50,000 ft above the ground, harnessing the winds’ power to create electricity.
The reason that the kites need to fly is that the jet stream starts at around 30,000 ft above the ground and it is this continuous blast of wind that could be harnessed to produce electricity. Now, this also begs the question that since the major airlines also use the jet stream to travel from coast to coast cutting down on flying time, will this kites present a problem to air travel?
Wind kite farms would have to be developed and mapped out so that pilots could avoid collision with the high flying electricity generators. In addition, will these kites not attract and be compromised by lightning strikes as well? We wouldn’t want a bunch of Ben Franklin scenarios now would we?
Obviously there are many technical and logistical issues to be worked out before we see a farm of Kite Runners popping up above the Big Apple anytime soon. If these logistics can be worked out if would be mean a short distance of travel between alternative energy source and users (unlike traditional wind farms).