Aiming High: Ceremonial Inauguration of the World’s Tallest Wind Measuring Mast

Over 100 guests from government and industry kick off research operations of the 300-meter-tall wind measuring mast on the Klettwitz plateau in Brandenburg, Germany

Three hundred meters tall, 99 mast elements, just under 70 tons, and equipped with 46 measuring devices. These are the stats on the world’s tallest wind measuring mast built over the past four months on the Klettwitz plateau. The unparalleled project officially launched its research operations on May 4th, 2023 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

More than 100 invited guests from government and industry watched the representative cutting of eight balloon ribbons, a gesture symbolizing the high aspirations of the project. The ceremonial participants included the Parliamentary State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) Michael Kellner, Saxony’s State Secretary for Energy, Climate Action, Environment, and Agriculture Dr. Gerd Lippold, the District Administrator of Oberspreewald-Lausitz Siegurd Heinze, as well as Schipkau’s Mayor Klaus Prietzel, beventum’s Managing Director Dr. Martin Chaumet, and the founder of the engineering service provider GICON® Prof. Jochen Großmann.
Windmessmast Klettwitz

Regions at the forefront of innovation: Schipkau and the Oberspreewald-Lausitz

With a wind farm just meters away, the location of the world’s tallest wind measurement mast on the Klettwitz plateau is ideal for research. Michael Kellner from BMWK emphasizes the region’s cutting-edge role in the energy transition: "The Lausitz district is known for its energy production, and it is on the verge of transiting into the age of renewables. The research on high-altitude wind turbines will make wind farms more efficient in the future, with higher capacity utilization and by using less land. This will enable Germany to come closer to the 2030 goal of producing 80 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources and help it to become more energy self-sufficient. Expanding renewable energy and building a hydrogen economy will also secure highly skilled jobs in the region’s energy industry."

For 12 months, the wind measuring mast will not only record wind speed, air pressure, temperature, and precipitation levels, it will also collect findings on bat behavior. For this, batcorders were installed along the mast. The devices convert the mammals' ultrasonic calls into audible sounds.
Windmessmast Klettwitz
As a corporation of the GICON®-Group, the GICON® Ingenieur Consult GmbH realized the entire project from start to finish, namely from planning to commissioning. "This is a big step for the region, for the energy transition, and for us as a company," said GICON® founder Prof. Jochen Großmann during the event. "In so doing, we are laying the foundation for the development of high-altitude wind turbines. With hub heights of 300 meters, they can utilize the significantly better wind conditions. These plans will upgrade former brown coal (lignite) sites, making them the basis for state-of-the-art industrial settlements completely powered by green electricity. My thanks go to the municipality of Schipkau and Mayor Klaus Prietzel, to the district and the state forestry service, as well as to Ge:Net GmbH for the construction work. I would also like to thank beventum GmbH for the initiative and for commissioning us for this unique project."

GICON® is tasked with focusing not only on wind measurements up to a height of 300 meters, but also on two LiDAR systems that will perform the measurements from the ground, calibrating them with the measuring mast. To do this, the LiDAR system uses radar waves to optically measure distance and speed. In the future, calibrated LiDAR systems will make it much easier to carry out high-altitude wind measurements, and measurement times with wind measurement masts can be significantly reduced or, if necessary, eliminated altogether.

The project, totaling approximately 2.8 million euros, consists of a wind measuring mast and a measuring campaign, and it was commissioned by beventum GmbH.
beventum GmbH is a subsidiary of the Federal Agency for Disruptive Innovation and is financed with roughly 80 million euros by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The company's goal is to tap into the potential of high-altitude wind for the first time and in so doing, solve, among other things, the issue of where wind turbines can be located in Germany. The German Renewable Energy Sources Act (Erneuerbaren-Energien-Gesetz — EEG) states that a total of "71 gigawatts of onshore wind energy" must be generated nationwide by 2030.

Managing Director of beventum Martin Chaumet explains: "The world’s tallest wind measurement mast is our first step toward tapping into high-altitude wind, which should hopefully soon lead to prototypes of high-altitude wind turbines. As initial measurements show, it will be possible to generate electricity from high-altitude wind turbines everywhere at acceptable prices in the future."

High-altitude wind turbines are about twice as tall as existing wind turbines and are designed to take advantage of the higher-yielding winds at high altitudes. Yields ranging at twice those of conventional wind turbines are expected. Furthermore, high-altitude wind turbines can be integrated into existing wind farms for a second level of energy extraction. This would potentially achieve a significantly higher energy yield on the same area, producing more wind power, much faster. With these innovations, there are unique opportunities to be had in the opencast mining regions, and in the future, solitary high-altitude wind turbines could also generate local wind energy power.

High-altitude wind turbines turn former lignite mining areas into innovation and
production regions

World-record height – Views from 220 meters above the ground

Both visitors to the Klettwitz plateau and interested readers can view images from the record-breaking height online. This camera takes a 360-degree image every ten minutes.

More info about beventum.
Windmessmast Klettwitz