GE Consortium to Build HVDC System for Sofia Offshore Wind Farm
A specially formed consortium of GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions and Sembcorp Marine today announced they have been awarded the full contract
A specially formed consortium of GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions and Sembcorp Marine today announced they have been awarded the full contract to supply a state-of-the-art high voltage direct current transmission system for Sofia, one of the world’s largest offshore wind farm projects. Once operational, Sofia, located in the North Sea 195 kilometers off the coast of the North East of England, will be able to generate enough wind energy to meet the electricity needs of almost 1.2 million average UK homes.
The HVDC transmission system represents Sofia’s second largest contract and will include the design, manufacture, installation, commissioning and maintenance of the offshore converter platform and the onshore converter station, including all ancillary equipment. Construction of the wind farm is set to begin onshore at its Teesside converter station site this year, with offshore construction expected to get underway in 2023. Teesside, an ideal location to serve the vast offshore wind potential of the North Sea, will also be the future home of GE Renewable Energy’s new blade manufacturing plant.
GE’s Grid Solutions will be leading the consortium for the engineering, procurement, construction and installation of the system’s two HVDC converter stations capable of transmitting 1,320 megawatts (MW) of power at 320 kilovolts (kV). The offshore converter station will be the most powerful ever built and will be installed 220 kilometers from shore, which will also make it the most remote.
Construction of the offshore converter platform will start this year and will be designed, built, installed and commissioned by Sembcorp Marine. Located at the heart of the wind farm, it will comprise a 17,000-ton topside and a jacket foundation structure piled into the seabed. The onshore converter station will convert the electricity generated by the wind farm to 400 kV alternating current, before it enters the UK national grid.
Sofia is the largest project in RWE Renewable’s current development portfolio with a generating capacity of up to 1.4 gigawatts. The wind farm site is located 195 km off the coast of the North East of England and on the shallow central area of the North Sea known as Dogger Bank. Once operational, Sofia will be able to generate enough green energy to meet the electricity needs of almost 1.2 million average UK homes.