Wind research platform

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A permit for installation of an offshore wind research platform in the Baltic Sea is being sought by Geo Gesellschaft für Energie und Ökologie, potential developer of the huge Sky 2000 offshore wind station in Germany's Mecklenburg Bay. If it gets the permit, Geo will build and equip the platform in partnership with TÜV Nord of Hamburg.

Platform equipment will include the Satrass system developed by Metek of Elmshorn, which uses ultrasound technology to measure wind speeds and flow up to a height of 200 metres. The research platform will also provide data on requirements for wind turbine foundations, on the effects of ice and on ecological systems, according to Marten Jensen of Geo.

"The market for offshore research platforms is currently monopolised by Germanischer Lloyd (GL). We wanted to develop an alternative," says Jensen. GL is to supply three platforms, one each for offshore projects that lie in the jurisdiction of the states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Kriegers Flak), Schleswig-Holstein (Dansktysk) and Lower-Saxony (Borkum West). The three GL projects have been funded under the government's Zukunftsinvestitionsprogram, financed indirectly from the auction proceeds of mobile phone frequencies (UTMS) back in 2000.

The cost of Geo's EUR 1.2 million platform will be shared equally among the wind turbine companies who successfully negotiate concessions for testing of five prototype 5 MW turbines at the Sky 2000 site as well as by Geo and TÜV Nord. Geo is involved in concession talks with Enercon, Enron Wind (GE Wind), Vestas, NEG Micon, Pfleiderer, REpower systems, Nordex and Bonus. Geo may allow more than one turbine from a single manufacturer.

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