Research at alpha ventus


Funding: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
Partner: /
Duration: 02/2017 – 01/2020


When, in 2009, the go-ahead was given for the construction of the first German offshore wind park for research purpose, “alpha ventus”, 45 km north of the island of Borkum, questions pertaining to the feasibility of offshore wind energy generation far from the coastline and in deep waters, as well as the validation of the then new 5 MW turbine class were in the fore. The RAVE research initiative has accompanied the test field right from the start and linked up the projects associated with the 12 offshore turbines of Adwen and Senvion. Thanks to the great support from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, nearly 40 research projects have been able to contribute to the allocation of know-how.

Today, some 700 offshore wind turbines are in operation in German waters and 3,100 across Europe; their feasibility has long been confirmed. For this reason, the follow-up project which started in February 2017 is primarily focusing on the operation and reliability of the turbines. The main goals are reduction of the levelized cost of energy and riskassessment. Alpha ventus is not only the wind park with the longest operational history in German waters, it also boosts an abundance of measurement equipment: Since 2010, more than 22 terabytes of data have been collected and recorded, which are of great relevance to current questions. The RAVE partners, in the proven configuration, will start new research projects and making use of the test field and its great wealth of data.

In order to encourage research on offshore wind, networking within the RAVE project, but also with other research projects in Germany and with the international research community is pivotal. Cost and risk reduction potential can only be fully exploited on the international stage. As such, communication and the exchange of experiences is an important aspect of this project.