Germany's first offshore wind farm, Alpha Ventus, features yaw and pitch drives from the Bonfiglioli Group. The wind farm features 12 5 MW towers and is expected to generate enough electricity to power 50,000 homes.
Located in 30 meter waters, 45 kilometers (28 miles) off the German island of Borkum in the North Sea, the project represents an investment of 250 million euros. Alpha Ventus is the first of several wind farms Germany plans for its northern coastline. The government approved plans to develop up to 40 offshore wind parks that could provide electricity to eight million households.
According to Sonia Bonfiglioli, CEO of the Bonfiglioli Group, the company's gearboxes were chosen to control the yaw angle of each turbine tower, as well as the pitch of the blades. "Due to the location and high power output of each wind tower, each component had to be both highly reliable and high performing," she says. "Bonfiglioli, thanks to our years of experience in applied technology, was among the few manufacturers who could provide the right solution for the project."
During an official commissioning ceremony, Norbert Röttgen, Germany's federal environment minister, said, "Investors, turbine manufacturers and grid operators have all taken a great risk with this test field. Their steadfast commitment, perseverance and creativity have paid off. The experience gained during the construction of Alpha Ventus will benefit all future offshore wind farms."
Bonfiglioli forecasts its 2010 revenues will top 98 million euros within the wind power sector.