Construction

The project's construction will begin in 2021. Enabling works will be carried out at the converter station site in Teesside throughout the year. Offshore works are not due to get underway until 2023. 

CURRENT STATUS

Construction on Sofia is set to begin in early 2021 with enabling works at the site of the onshore converter station in Teesside. The construction programme will depend on the project’s final design. Throughout 2020 the Sofia team carried out final site investigation surveys to form the basis for that refined design. Sofia has appointed preferred suppliers for all its key packages and is now working with them to finalise contract details in advance of the financial investment decision due in Spring 2021. Work continues on the selection of the port(s) that will be used during construction and on the project’s long-term operations & maintenance port.

Introduction

SURVEYS

Both onshore and offshore surveys have been integral to the development of Sofia, since early environmental impact assessment work to inform the original development consent application.

In 2020, in the lead up to construction and to finalise the wind farm design, a comprehensive six-month offshore site investigation was launched. Comprising geophysical and geotechnical surveys, the work included environmental grab samples, drop down video transects, sub-bottom seismic profiling, side-scan sonar, bathymetry and magnetometer surveys on the Dogger Bank array site along the 220 kilometre export cable. This is thought to be the longest such cable route survey ever undertaken for an offshore wind farm. The information collected is now being analysed to build up a comprehensive picture of the seafloor and sub seafloor conditions, informing the need for further surveys, the final cable route, the landfall location and the most appropriate cable installation methodologies.

Onshore surveys were also required prior to construction start including archaeology trial trenching along the cable corridor and at the converter station site, and site investigation surveys to check ground and other conditions.

Surveys

ONSHORE

Construction will start in 2021 with onshore civils works at the onshore converter station site adjacent to the Wilton Complex, near the village of Lazenby in Teesside. Work on the landfall site and onshore cable corridor will follow in 2022.

OFFSHORE

Fabrication of the wind farm components such as the offshore converter station, will get underway in 2021 prior to offshore construction starting in 2023. First power is due to be generated in 2024/25 and on the current schedule the wind farm would be fully operational by the end of 2026.

FOR MARINERS

Fisheries

Aligned to the Fishing Liaison with Offshore Wind and Wet Renewables Group (FLOWW) best practice guidance, Sofia’s aim is to allow fishing to continue wherever possible.

Sofia’s approach is set out in the Fisheries Liaison Plan (FLP), which details our consultation and liaison with the fishing industry.

For all mariner enquiries related to Sofia's offshore survey and construction activity, including vessel movements, please contact Precision Marine Survey Limited via email or telephone +44 1964 624423 and for fisheries stakeholders wishing to discuss commercial agreements please contact MacAlister Elliot via email or telephone +44 1590 679016.

Throughout the wind farm’s life-cycle, Sofia will utilise Notices to Mariners to communicate with the fisheries industry. Click below to see the latest notices.

Array Area Coordinates

Point Latitude (decimal degrees) Longitude (decimal degrees)
25 55.12443 2.14572
26 55.13002 2.21780
51 54.97070 2.50189
52 54.96096 2.48529
56 54.83864 2.27783
57 54.83862 2.26336
24 55.01111 1.95454

HEALTH, SAFETY & WELLBEING

The health, safety and wellbeing of our project team and contractor personnel is our first priority. We have the highest safety standards and will ensure a positive safety culture is embedded within the project, implemented through focussed safety campaigns and continual reinforcement.

Safety starts at the top and Sofia's leadership will lead the way through a visible commitment to safety in all areas of the project both onshore and offshore.

Exemplary health, safety and wellbeing is vital to the successful construction, commissioning and operation of the wind farm.

Every day we are guided by the five key objectives of:

1. No incidents, accidents or injuries

2. The maintenance of a healthy workforce with no time lost to work related illness

3. No harm to the environment

4. No damage to assets

5. No damage to marine archaeology                                                     

To attain these high standards Sofia will deploy the Innogy Renewables UK Health, Safety and Environmental Management System.

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