German utility company RWE has announced installation of the first offshore turbine foundation at the 1.4GW Sofia offshore wind farm in the UK North Sea.

The first monopile foundation installation was carried out by Van Oord’s offshore installation vessel Aeolus. All the 100 foundations at the offshore wind project are anticipated to be in place by spring 2025.

The Sofia offshore wind farm is located on Dogger Bank, 195km from the closest point on the UK’s northeast coast.

Expected to be commissioned in 2026, the facility will produce clean energy sufficient to deliver electricity to the equivalent of 1.2 million households in the UK.

The offshore wind project will have a single offshore converter platform, transmitting the generated electricity 220km to the landfall in Redcar, Teesside.

It will feature 100 Siemens Gamesa SG 14-222 DD offshore wind turbines, each with a capacity of 14MW.  The turbine installation at the Sofia offshore wind farm is slated to be completed by the end of 2026.

RWE offshore wind CEO Sven Utermöhlen said: “Installing the first monopile is a highly symbolic moment in the construction of every offshore wind farm. After 14 years of planning and preparation, this is a great achievement for the entire RWE team.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved for their contribution. Building a project of this size and scale is a great opportunity to demonstrate our expertise in delivering offshore wind energy around the globe.”

Installation of the first turbine foundation comes after the deployment of the key subsea cable infrastructure at the offshore wind project. It marks the commencement of offshore construction within the array itself.

RWE selected Van Oord as the preferred supplier for the engineering, procurement, construction, and installation (EPCI) of the monopile foundations and array cables for the Sofia project in 2020.