Alpha Ventus Offshore Wind Farm

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Alpha Ventus
2012-05-13 Alpha ventus - Nordsee-Luftbilder DSCF8851.jpg
Aerial view of Alpha Ventus wind park (may 2012)
LocationNorth Sea, ~44 km (27 mi) northwest of Borkum
Coordinates54°1′N 6°36′E / 54.017°N 6.600°E / 54.017; 6.600Coordinates: 54°1′N 6°36′E / 54.017°N 6.600°E / 54.017; 6.600
Commission date2009
Wind farm
Power generation
Units operational12 × 5 MW
Make and modelAdwen AD 5-116
REpower 5M
Nameplate capacity60 MW
Capacity factor50 - 55% (2011 & 2012)
Alpha Ventus' location in the wind farms of the German Bight

Alpha Ventus Offshore Wind Park (before renaming known as Borkum West Offshore Wind Park) is Germany's first offshore wind farm. It is situated in the North Sea 45 kilometres (28 mi) north of the island of Borkum.

History of Alpha Ventus Windpark[edit]

Construction work at alpha ventus wind park (July 2009)

The application for construction of the wind farm near Borkum was submitted in 1999. The permit was given by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency in 2001. In 2007, contracts for supplying wind turbines were signed with REpower and Areva. That same year, a contract for the construction of a subsea cable connection to the German grid was signed. Construction of the alpha ventus substation started in July 2008. On July 15, 2009, the first wind turbine was installed and the first six turbines delivered by Areva went operational in August 2009. Installation of another six turbines delivered by REpower started in September 2009.[1] Construction of the wind farm was completed on November 16, 2009 after a seven-month construction period. On April 27, 2010 the farm was officially opened and set into commercial operation.[2]


The wind farm is owned by Deutsche Offshore-Testfeld und Infrastruktur-GmbH & Co. KG, a joint venture of EWE (47.5%), E.ON (26.25%), and Vattenfall (26.25%).[3] It is a rather small wind park, consisting of twelve turbines, all of which produce 5 megawatts. There are 6 units of two wind turbine models: the first half consists of Awden AD 5-116 turbines, while the rest consists of REpower 5M wind turbines. Turbines stand in 30 m of water and are not visible from land.[4] The REpower turbines are installed onto jacket foundations (OWEC Jacket Quattropods) by the crane ship Thialf and Adwen turbines are installed onto tripod-style foundations by the jack-up barge Odin.[1] In May 2010 two Areva Multibrid, generators went off service due severe overheating in their gearboxes. There is a pressure to Areva to replace all six turbines.[5]

Due to delays, the cost of the project grew from 190 million to 250 million euro (US$270 to $357 million), or 4200 €/kW (6000 $/kW).[6][7]

In 2011, the wind farm had the highest registered capacity factor of 50.8% of most European offshore wind farms.[8][9] This was exceeded in 2012 with a capacity factor of 55%,[not in citation given] a global record. The project team noted that the expected capacity factor of 42% was a considerable underestimation.[10][11] However, in 2013 the capacity factor was 42.7%.[12]


Because it is the first offshore wind farm in Germany, alpha ventus is accompanied by several research projects sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Environment (BMU). In 2003, the research platform FINO 1 was built approximately 400 m to the west of the wind farm. Research interests include:[13]

  • investigation of the flow conditions in the wind farm
  • measurement of wind and wave load
  • further development and adaptation of wind turbine components to offshore conditions
  • accompanying ecological research
  • development of new wind farm control systems
  • logistic problems and the grid integration of offshore wind farms
  • Power curve test methodology[14]
  • Investigation of wind turbine wakes[15]
  • Assessment of the wind turbine induction zone[16]

See also[edit]

Media related to Alpha ventus at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ a b The foundations for the Areva turbines were so called tripods designed by OWT. The foundations for the REpower turbines were developed and designed by OWEC Tower. Stromsta, Karl-Erik (2009-09-30). "First REpower turbine goes up at Germany's 60MW Alpha Ventus". ReCharge. NHST Media Group. (subscription required). Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-18.
  2. ^ "Start-up celebration for offshore test field alpha ventus". Your Industry News. April 26, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
  3. ^ "DOTI: the future of wind energy". EWE AG. Retrieved 2010-07-18.
  4. ^ "Germany completes construction of first offshore wind farm". Monsters and, WotR Ltd. Deutsche Presse Agentur. November 16, 2009. Archived from the original on 19 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-16.
  5. ^ "Areva under pressure as M5000 turbines malfunction". ReCharge. NHST Media Group. 2010-06-25. (subscription required). Archived from the original on 29 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-18.
  6. ^ "Germany goes offshore: EWE, E.ON and Vattenfall have constructed the first wind turbine for alpha ventus" (Press release). alpha ventus. July 15, 2009. Archived from the original on August 30, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
  7. ^ "First German offshore wind farm online". Wind Daily. August 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
  8. ^ "Capacity factor by commissioned sites". Archived from the original on 27 April 2014.
  9. ^ "2011 was a great year for offshore wind". 31 October 2012. Archived from the original on 29 April 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Capacity factor by commissioned sites". Archived from the original on 28 July 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  11. ^ Knight, Sara (29 May 2015). "Politics block German offshore wind link". Windpower Monthly. Archived from the original on 28 January 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "A Neighbour for the FINO 1 Research Platform" (PDF). DEWI Magazin. DEWI. August 31, 2007. Retrieved 2010-01-06.
  14. ^ Clive, P. J. M., et al., Offshore power curve tests for onshore costs: a real world case study Archived 2014-05-12 at the Wayback Machine. European Wind Energy Association Annual Conference, 2014. Retrieved: 9 May 2014.
  15. ^ Gallacher, D., and More, G., Lidar measurements and visualisation of turbulence and wake decay length Archived 2014-05-12 at the Wayback Machine. European Wind Energy Association Annual Conference, 2014. Retrieved: 9 May 2014.
  16. ^ Asimakopoulos, M., Clive, P. J. M., More, G., and Boddington, R., Offshore compression zone measurement and visualisation Archived 2014-05-12 at the Wayback Machine. European Wind Energy Association Annual Conference, 2014. Retrieved: 9 May 2014.

External links[edit]