The final project completion is anticipated to take place in the fourth quarter of 2026


Sofia offshore wind farm is planned to feature 100 turbines (Credit: RWE.)

Germany-based energy company RWE has commenced the construction of its 1.4GW Sofia offshore wind project, located on Dogger Bank, 195km off the UK’s North East coast.

The offshore wind farm is planned to feature a total of 100 turbines, and is considered to be the largest and furthest offshore for RWE.

With offshore installation expected to begin in 2023, the final project completion is anticipated to take place in the fourth quarter of 2026.

Once installed, Sofia will be the world’s first project to feature Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy’s new 14MW wind turbine.

RWE Renewables offshore wind Global COO Sven Utermöhlen said: “Achieving this start-of-construction milestone for Sofia Offshore Wind Farm is a great moment for the entire RWE Renewables team and a fantastic tribute to the 11 years’ hard work and collaboration from everyone involved, including our suppliers and stakeholders.

“Building a project of this size and scale is a great opportunity to demonstrate our expertise for delivering cost effective, innovative offshore wind energy around the globe.”

In 2010, the Crown Estate has awarded the rights to develop offshore wind energy on Dogger Bank to a consortium including RWE, as part of its Round 3 Leasing Round.

Since then, the project has achieved several milestones in preparation for construction, including Development Consent Order from the Secretary of State in 2015, and winning the UK Government’s fourth Contract for Difference auction in 2019.

In March this year, RWE has taken its financial investment decision (FID) on the project, which is estimated to require a total investment of around £3bn.

The company intends to officially start the construction with onshore activities, also called as enabling works, for which Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK has secured a contract.

The works will be undertaken at the new high-voltage direct current converter station site, located near the village of Lazenby in Teesside, which will be built by GE’s Grid Solutions, in early 2022.

The company has contracted Prysmian to supply and install the onshore export cable from a point between Redcar and Marske-by-the-Sea to the new converter station.

Utermöhlen said: “By installing next generation wind turbines and the most advanced balance of plant technology so far offshore, we will also gain valuable insights to deploy on our new projects, especially our two new adjacent sites on Dogger Bank South which we were recently awarded by The Crown Estate.”