/  January 01, 2007  -  June 30, 2012


Research at »alpha ventus«: Coordination of the Offshore Research Initiative of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment

Partner: BSH, DEWI, ForWind, Germanischer Lloyd, Windtest KWK
Employer: BMU
Duration: 1.1.2007 - 30.6.2012

Dr. Kurt Rohrig (Project Manager), Dr. Bernhard Lange, Michael Durstewitz, Eva Otto, Doron Callies, Stefan Faulstich, Michael Scheibe, Susann Spriestersbach
Topics: Wind Energy


The objective of the German federal government’s offshore strategy is to set up offshore wind farms with a total installed capacity of 20 to 25 GW by the year 2030. To start this development, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) supports a large research initiative at the offshore test wind farm »alpha ventus«.

To enable the German wind power industry to benefit from this test field to the maximum extent possible, BMU has started a 50 million Euro initiative in September 2007. This initiative includes different research projects that will accompany the building process and the operation of the test field.

The German institutes that are members of the EAWE have played an important role in the development of this initiative. Fraunhofer IEE (formerly ISET) is in charge of the coordination project, which networks and represents the individual associated research projects.

A total of twelve wind turbines, which will be located 45 km north of Borkum, are scheduled to be built starting in summer 2008. Together these turbines will have an installed capacity of 60 MW. The test field will be equipped with extensive measurement instrumentation in order to be able to provide all participating projects with detailed data.

As part of the research initiative, so far the different institutes and companies have requested and prepared projects on the following topics:

  • Carrying out the measurements and data management for all projects jointly
  • Testing, modelling and further development of the different components of offshore wind turbines
  • Monitoring of the offshore wind energy deployment in Germany – »Offshore WMEP«
  • Grid integration of offshore wind energy
  • Further development of LIDAR wind measuring methods
  • Cyclic loads at offshore foundation structures
  • Measurement of the operating noise and modelling of the sound propagation between tower and water
  • Ecologic and geologic research

The most important task of the coordination project is to provide the structure of a strong joint programme to the associated projects. To be able to use synergies and improve the quality of the results, a concept was developed for the cooperation between the different projects in the test field. The main work packages of the coordination project are the organisational and scientific networking of the individual research projects with each other, the joint public relations work as well as the planning and coordination of the joint measurements. The following elements also serve the purpose of these tasks: steering committee, communication and mediation within the initiative, representation of interests to the outside, organisation of specialist workshops and scientific conferences. Moreover, the coordination project informs the public, politicians, ministries and scientists about the research taking place in the offshore test field.