The emergency exercise was carried out in partnership between Dong and the German central command for maritime emergencies (Havariekommando).
Turbines and the foundations also cause a change to currents and allow less space to navigate, so Havariekommando took the opportunity to practice at the project site in case of an emergency.
Havariekommando has had little experience operating in and around offshore wind projects as they are a relatively new addition to German waters. The first German offshore project was the 60MW Alpha Ventus project completed in 2009.
Ten specialised ships, one helicopter, two observation planes and 30 cubic metres of popcorn were used in the emergency exercise.
Popcorn is also environmental-friendly, because sea gulls and fish can pick up and eat any leftovers.
As part of the emergency exercise, the Havariekommando practised different methods to catch the popcorn. Specialised ships with "sweeping arms" as well as oil-booms, which provide a barrier, were field-tested.
Borkum Riffgrund 1 was officially commissioned in early October. It uses 78 Siemens 4MW offshore turbines. Dong Energy remains a majority shareholder but sold a 32% stake to the Lego Group (Kirkbi A/S) and 18% to investment firm William Demant in 2012.