RWE has advanced the development of Sofia Offshore Wind Farm. The company has selected the international marine contractor Van Oord as the preferred supplier for the engineering, procurement, construction and installation of the monopile foundations and array cables, for one of the world’s largest offshore wind projects. The 1.4 Gigawatt Sofia is sited on Dogger Bank in the central North Sea 195 kilometres from the North East coast, where Van Oord, through its UK-branch MPI Offshore, will create a logistics hub to deliver the comprehensive scope of work.
Van Oord will deploy its offshore installation vessel Aeolus to install the 100 extended monopile foundations without transition pieces, while the 350 kilometres of array cables will be installed by the family-owned firm’s first cable-laying vessel Nexus. The company will sub-contract the fabrication of the foundations and array cables.
Van Oord worked closely with RWE on the construction of the Rampion, Humber Gateway, Robin Rigg and London Array offshore wind farms. Sofia brings the opportunity to further develop UK supply chain relationships, evolve construction techniques, and optimise the design of the foundations, which will be supporting some of the largest turbines currently on the market.
Onshore construction will get underway at Sofia’s converter station site in Teesside early next year. Work on the foundation and array package is set to begin after the project’s financial investment decision in Q1 2021, with installation scheduled for 2024.
This foundation and array cable news now completes the main packages for Sofia with preferred supplier agreements already in place with Prysmian Group for the project’s HVDC export cable; a consortium of GE’s Grid Solutions and Sembcorp Marine for its HVDC transmission system, and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, set to supply the wind farm with its most advanced 14 Megawatts (MW) offshore wind turbines.
Sofia wind farm is 100% owned by RWE, the second biggest player in offshore wind globally and the UK's second largest generator of electricity.