Riffgat OWF Wins ‘Project of the Year’ Award

For the third time, the Renewable Energy Hamburg Cluster presented the German Renewables Award for innovations and pioneering achievements in wind energy. An independent jury selected four winners from 61 submissions and nominations in the categories “Product Innovation of the Year”, “Project of the Year”, “Student Thesis of the Year, Wind Energy” and “Lifetime Achievement, Wind Energy”.

At the Exhibitor Evening “The Blue” of the leading international trade fair WindEnergy Hamburg 2014 on 23 Sept. 2014 the jury presented the awards in front of 1,200 guests. The association Verein Neue Energie e.V. jointly presented the prize for the best final paper in the area of renewable energies by a Hamburg based student.

“Innovative drive and a pioneering spirit are indispensable in an industry like the renewable energies industry – and these are our strengths in Hamburg and throughout Germany. The German Renewables Award is a particularly good reflection of the inspiration and passion with which smart people in our country devote themselves to a clean and sustainable future,” said Frank Horch, Hamburg’s Senator for Economics, Transport and Innovation.

“The prize winners this year are impressive proof of the vigour with which the renewable energy sector is making the generation plants more and more cost-efficient and integrates them into the energy supply system with outstanding technical features. To increase the percentage of renewable energies in the energy supply in Germany from 28% today to 40 to 45% in the year 2025, as announced by the federal government, precisely such innovations are called for,” said Jan Rispens, Managing Director of the Renewable Energy Hamburg Cluster.

The “Lifetime Achievement” category

Henrik Stiesdal built his first little wind turbine as early as 1976. He started his professional career at Vestas A/S. He then worked as technical manager at Bonus Energy, from 2000 onwards as their Chief Technology Officer. After the acquisition of Bonus by Siemens Wind Power in 2004 he remained Chief Technology Officer. Henrik Stiesdal is seen as one of the major players in the wind power scene worldwide.

“My driving force over the years was my strong desire to make wind power the preferred energy source. In addition I of course greatly enjoyed working on this technology and being part of a sector that continues to develop larger turbines that are ever more profitable, efficient and elegant,” said Henrik Stiesdal, CTO of Siemens Wind Power.

The 28 nominations in the category “Lifetime Achievement, Wind Energy” ranged from managers and members of associations through to engineers from Germany and abroad.

The “Product Innovation of the Year” category

Hamburg-based Qreon GmbH together with Freqcon GmbH developed the Q82 wind turbine of 2 MW capacity with integrated energy storage system. The innovative energy storage system supports the power grid and enables the implementation of many different grid-based applications, because it can also be used without voltage signal from the power grid. Nine companies submitted entries in the category “Product Innovation of the Year”.

“We are fascinated by the idea of creating an overall concept where the tried and tested wind turbine technology together with innovative storage is connected to the grid only via one high-performance converter. We accept this challenge together with our strong cooperation partners,” said Qreon’s Managing Director Detlef Bengs.

The “Project of the Year” category

15 km off the North Seas island of Borkum you find the first commercial wind farm in the German North Sea: Riffgat. The 30 Siemens wind turbines in the 3.6 MW class have a total capacity of 108 MW and are able to supply some 120,000 average private households with electricity. It only took 14 months to construct.Wind farm and innovative acoustic mitigation measures were used during construction.

“Riffgat is the result of a magnificent team with dedication, perseverance, competence and experience – every time I see our wind farm I am proud of each one of them. I know how hard we worked to demonstrate that offshore wind farms in Germany can be built on time and in an environmentally sound manner. The revolving rotors are a wonderful reward. The prize today is a great distinction and a confirmation which we are very happy about,” said a delighted Irina Lucke from the Riffgat project management team at EWE Offshore Service & Solutions GmbH.

There were 18 submissions in the category “Project of the Year”.

The “Student Thesis of the Year” category

Six students applied for the “Student Thesis of the Year, Wind Energy” award. Jenny Bünger, diploma graduate in Industrial Engineering/Electrical Engineering at RWTH Aachen, emerged as the winner. On behalf of FGH GmbH she looked into current concepts of generation systems on medium and high voltage level that take into consideration fluctuations and disturbances in the grid, which are seen as a challenge. The award winner analysed the protection concepts in a practical context and developed effective solutions.

“This is the first work to analyse and provide suggestions for improvement for the methods of evaluation that are used in the grid and inherent protection of decentralised generation units, especially with regard to the certification of units and turbines,” said Jenny Bünger, RWTH Aachen / FGH GmbH.

The German Renewables Award is under the auspices of Senator Frank Horch, president of the Economics, Transport and Innovation authority of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. The Renewable Energy Hamburg Clusterhas been presenting the awards every year since 2012. The German Renewables Award is presented with the generous support from the following companies who acted as main sponsors: IABG and Siemens AG.

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Press Release, August 25, 2014; Image: riffgat.de