German power company RWE AG (ETR:RWE) has commenced offshore construction of its 1.4-GW Sofia offshore wind farm, located on Dogger Bank in the central North Sea, off the UK’s east coast.
Offshore work starts with the installation of the first section of high voltage direct current (HVDC) export cable by cable contractor Prysmian’s vessel Leonardo da Vinci. Operating out of the Port of Middlesbrough, the vessel lay two 130-kilometre (81-mile) sections of cable in parallel. Two remaining 90-km sections will be installed next year, with Leonardo da Vinci due to deploy a total 440 km of marine export cables by late 2024.
Sofia, representing an investment of over GBP 3 billion (USD 3.8bn/EUR 3.5bn), is expected to be completed by the end of 2026. It will be RWE’s single largest offshore wind farm so far, as the company’s chief executive Markus Krebber pointed out in a Linkedin post.
In the UK, RWE is currently operating 10 offshore wind farms with an overall installed capacity of almost 4 GW.
“The laying of the first section of export cable represents the culmination of 13 years of planning, preparation, and diligence, as well as a huge amount of support from suppliers and stakeholders alike,” noted RWE Offshore Wind chief executive Sven Utermoehlen.
Sofia’s offshore converter platform will travel from Batam, Indonesia to the UK in 2024. Next year will also start the installation of 100 extended monopile foundations and array cables. The wind farm will use 100 14-MW Siemens Gamesa turbines, 44 of which will have recyclable blades.
Onshore construction began in June 2021.
(GBP 1 = USD 1.268/EUR 1.169)