alpha ventus – Germany’s First Offshore Wind Farm is Formally Commissioned
Today, Federal Environment Minister Dr. Norbert Röttgen together with Chief Executive Officers Dr. Werner Brinker of EWE, Dr. Wulf Bernotat of E.ON and Tuomo Hatakka of Vattenfall Europe are commissioning Germany’s first offshore wind farm during a ceremony in Norddeich. Alpha ventus is the first open sea wind farm of its kind in Germany’s territorial waters.
It marks the beginning of a new era in environmentally-friendly power generation in Germany – far from the coast in the open sea, in deep-sea conditions and utilising cutting-edge technology. Alpha ventus was constructed 45 kilometres off the coast of the island of Borkum by a consortium of EWE, E.ON and Vattenfall Europe, who together have invested 250 million Euros to bring this project to its successful completion. Alongside clean power generation, alpha ventus also serves as a test field for research projects concerned with nature conservation, which are aided by the Federal Ministry for the Environment. Additionally, the wind farm will provide invaluable knowledge as regards the utilisation and the further development of offshore wind power.
On the occasion of the official commissioning of alpha ventus, Federal Environment Minister Dr. Norbert Röttgen says: “The use of wind power will play a key role in the energy mix of the future. Offshore wind farms are a decisive factor in this role. Our goal is an installed offshore capacity of 25,000 MW by the year 2030. Alpha ventus is the beginning, the pioneering work which has truly opened the door for us into the age of renewable energies. Investors, turbine manufacturers and grid operators have all taken a great risk with this test field. Their steadfast commitment, perseverance and creativity have paid off: The experience gained during the construction of alpha ventus will benefit all future offshore wind farms.”
Alpha ventus has already had a direct influence on the subsequent projects of EWE, E.ON and Vattenfall, as Dr. Werner Brinker, CEO of EWE AG, explains:
“Today, with the commissioning of alpha ventus, we are crowning an exemplary pioneering project. With it we are giving the starting signal for the use of ocean wind power in the German North Sea. Offshore technology is the topic of the future, with excellent innovation and growth potential and offering tremendous opportunities. We want to be a part of this future and therefore actively drive its development forward – with reference projects like alpha ventus and with investments in additional offshore wind farms, as, for example, in the construction of Riffgat, 15 kilometres from Borkum.”
Dr. Wulf Bernotat, CEO of E.ON AG, declares: “Alpha ventus is a great step forward for the expansion of wind power on the open sea. With this pioneering project, we at E.ON have improved our excellent offshore experience in coastal area wind farms into true, open sea know-how, so that we can now tackle additional offshore deepwater projects in the German North and Baltic Seas.”
Tuomo Hatakka, CEO of Vattenfall Europe AG: “This is a great day for offshore wind power in Germany. Our companies have exhibited excellent team spirit and with alpha ventus have proven that the use of offshore wind power is viable, even in the harsh natural conditions in Germany. Vattenfall is already a global leader in the field of offshore wind industry today. Power generation from wind is an essential building block of Vattenfall’s strategy, ‘Making Electricity Clean’, through which we aim to make our electricity generation carbon neutral by 2050.”
The operation of alpha ventus can also be followed via the Internet. From the research station of FINO1, a web camera is focussed directly on the wind farm. You can find a link to the webcam at www.alpha-ventus.de.
Note to editorial offices: Actual photos in print quality as well as graphics of the erecting of the offshore wind turbines can be downloaded for free at https://bildarchiv.alpha-ventus.de.
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Alpha ventus is the first German offshore wind farm. The pilot project, which was constructed around 45 kilometres off the coast of Borkum, provides fundamental experience in the construction and operation of offshore wind farms in Germany. A total of twelve, 5 megawatt-class wind power turbines have been erected in the alpha ventus test field: six Areva Multibrid M5000 turbines as well as six REpower 5M turbines. In addition, two types of steel foundations were used to support the wind power turbines. While the Areva Multibrid turbines stand on so-called tripods, so-called jacket foundations were chosen for the REpower turbines.
This is the first time such turbines have been erected and operated offshore in waters 30 metres deep. The research and development results will be incorporated into the design, construction and operation of future offshore turbines. EWE, E.ON and Vattenfall founded the “Deutsche Offshore-Testfeld und Infrastruktur GmbH & Co. KG” (DOTI) to realise the alpha ventus wind farm. Under the description “Borkum West”, DOTI has leased the licensing rights to the test field from the Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft für die Nutzung und Erforschung der Windenergie auf See (Offshore Wind Energy Foundation).
Source: alpha-ventus, April 27, 2010;