Technological progress does not stop at the offshore wind industry either. However, in order to test the new developments and to optimize them for use, test areas are needed. The project NaT-Off: National Test Field Offshore Wind Energy was specifically launched at the beginning of March 2019 in order to provide such a site. Within the scope of this project, the Offshore Wind Energy Foundation is preparing the ground for the operation of such a test site for offshore wind turbines off the coast of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania by 2023.

This area in the territorial sea has been designated since 2016 for testing offshore wind energy innovations under real-life conditions. The industry’s testing and demonstration requirements are to be determined by 2023: the development of innovative and powerful offshore wind turbines as well as innovative structures for the foundations, components, logistics concepts and grid connection technologies will be the main focus here.

Building on this, criteria will then be developed on the basis of which the innovative technologies can be selected for testing on the test site. In addition to determining the rights and obligations of the participants, it will also be necessary to select an operator or a consortium of operators. The researchers are currently involved in drawing up an acceptance concept. The accompanying scientific research will also be investigating new types of offshore wind turbines, rotor blade designs, installation processes and logistics concepts.

The project NaT-Off is receiving almost one million euros in funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).