The first offshore windfarm (OWF) in German marine waters, alpha ventus, has been constructed between April and November 2009 in the German Bight about 45 km north of the island of Borkum (Fig. 1-1 This windfarm functions as a test site and is fully operating since April 2010. Compared to more recently built windfarms (e.g., Borkum West II) it is rather small: twelve offshore wind turbines (OWT) were erected on an area of 4 km².
The intention behind the project alpha ventus was to gain technical experience regarding the new techniques of offshore wind power production, as well as to investigate the ecological effects of offshore windfarms as to the Standards for Environmental Impact Assessments (StUK3) of the German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH 2007). By these standards, it is demanded to investigate the effects of the construction and operation of windfarms on marine environments. Furthermore, results of the project alpha ventus are intended to provide a basis for evaluation of StUK3 according to its appropriateness and efficiency (StUK3 was recently followed by StUK4; BSH 2013).
Since 2008 planning, construction, and operation of alpha ventus is accompanied by monitoring of marine mammals according to StUK3 by BioConsult SH (Husum) and IfAÖ (formerly: biola, Hamburg) on behalf of the Deutsche Offshore-Testfeld- und Infrastruktur GmbH & Co. KG (DOTI).