Siemens Gamesa Turbines for Sofia Offshore Wind Power Project
Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has been awarded the firm order from RWE for the 1.4 GW Sofia offshore wind power project. Sofia represents a giant leap for the company; located 195 km off the UK’s north eastern coast on Dogger Bank in the North Sea, the project will be the first to install the company’s flagship 14 MW Direct Drive offshore wind turbine. At 593 square kilometres, the Sofia project will also cover an area greater than that of the Isle of Man and will utilise the evolutionary technology of the SG 14-222 DD offshore wind turbine commercially for the first time anywhere in the world. The development brings other milestones; the 100 turbines will be installed furthest from shore of any project yet undertaken by the company and will feature the world’s largest single-cast turbine blade at 108 m long.
The B108 blades being used at Sofia are more than six times longer than the first offshore wind turbine blades ever installed, namely the 16-meter long blades used at Vindeby in Denmark in 1991. The 35-meter water depth, the distance from the UK’s coastline and the sheer scale of the turbine and its components make the stable, proven technology of Siemens Gamesa’s Direct Drive technology, where no gearbox is involved,an obvious choice for the Sofia wind power project. The strong, reliable winds far from shore will enable the completed wind power project to power the equivalent of 1.2 million UK households. Offshore construction works for the Sofia project will start in 2023 with turbine installation set to commence in 2025.
Two further preferred supplier agreements for wind power projects employing the SG 14-222 DD turbine are signed, totalling 2.94 GW: the 300 MW Hai Long offshore wind project in Taiwan and the 2.64 GW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project in the USA. The enormous machines, with a capacity of up to 15 megawatts with Power Boost, a 222 m rotor diameter and overall height of 252 m, are able to bring utility-scale energy generation with far fewer turbines installed than was possible only a few years ago.
The B108 blades take advantage of the IntegralBlade® technology, as well as the superior Siemens Gamesa PowerEdge™ solution and lightning protection system. Recently produced, the first three B108 blades will be installed on the SG 14-222 DD prototype in Østerild, Denmark later in calendar year 2021.