Construction

The project's construction officially began in June 2021 with the start of the enabling works at the onshore converter station site in Teesside. Construction of the onshore converter station and export cable route began in 2022. Offshore construction works are due to get underway in late 2023. 

CURRENT STATUS

Sofia achieved financial go ahead in March 2021 and moved into its official construction phase. Contracts are in place with all the project's Tier 1 suppliers - providing the main component packages including turbines, foundations and electrical infrastructure. Construction of Sofia officially began June 2021 with enabling works at the site of the project's onshore converter station in Redcar, Teesside. GE's Grid Solutions and its contractor Kier Infrastructure have now moved on to the converter station site with J. Murphy and Sons, also in place, carrying out the export cable civil engineering works. 

SURVEYS

Onshore and offshore surveys have been vital to the development of Sofia since early environmental impact assessment work that informed the original development consent application. As the project moves through its construction phase, surveys will continue to remain an integral part of our activity.

Offshore

The first eight ornithology aerial-LiDAR surveys to collect data on kittiwake flight height and abundance were completed in 2021/2022 with the four remaining surveys to be flown before the end of August this year. This will be the second and final year of our pre-construction ornithology surveys.

In 2021, the first phase of investigations of potential UXO and archaeology features was undertaken in the nearshore area. In late June 2022, the second phase of the UXO and archaeology campaign will get underway along the remainder of the export cable corridor and at the array site. An ROV will investigate potential UXOs, and several possible archaeological features and will inspect an additional aid to navigation buoy location.

Also in June a multi-beam seafloor survey will be carried out in advance of the main offshore landfall horizontal directional drilling (HDD) works planned for this summer.

Onshore

The onshore cable route surveys were completed earlier this year in readiness for the start of construction of the civil engineering works on the onshore cable corridor, now in full swing. The surveys included a team of onshore archaeologists from Durham University’s Archaeological Services (DUAS) carrying out excavation and recording work at locations along the cable route, from landfall near the coast to the Wilton onshore converter station site. 

Following magnetometer surveys earlier in 2022, some manual excavations will be carried out on the beach and within the intertidal zone to review potential UXOs identified in that area. As with the multi-beam seafloor survey above, activity will be completed ahead of the start of the HDD at the landfall in summer.  The HDD work will install ducts for the offshore export cables to be pulled through in 2023.

ONSHORE

Construction started in June 2021 with onshore civils works at the onshore converter station site adjacent to the Wilton Complex, near the village of Lazenby in Teesside. Construction of the converter station itself began in 2022 along with civils work for the onshore cable corridor, including at the landfall. Onshore activity, including reinstatement, will continue through until 2025.

OFFSHORE

Fabrication of the wind farm components, including the offshore converter station, is now underway. Offshore construction will start in 2023, with both 2024 and 2025 set to be busy years on the Dogger Bank site as the offshore components are installed. On the current schedule the wind farm is due to 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 along with the Fisheries Co-existence Plan, which aims to facilitate a positive co-existence between Sofia and commercial fishing interests, with principles applicable to the project's pre-construction, construction, operation and decommissioning phases.

For all mariner enquiries related to Sofia's offshore survey and construction activity, including vessel movements and to file a lost and damaged fisheries gear claim form, please contact Precision Marine Survey Limited via email or telephone +44 1964 624423 

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.

 

Charter

Fostering RWE Renewable’s safety principles under the ‘We Care’ campaign:

  • HSE Excellence is the cornerstone of Sustainable performance. We achieve this by working to our care principle in order to #enjoytomorrow.
  • We care together – committed to create a safe and healthy workplace, protect the Environment and constantly strive to find safer ways of working.
  • We are brave in our decisions – we empower and expect everyone to intervene in unsafe/ unhealthy situations.
  • We continually improve – we will openly and regularly discuss and continually improve our HSE performance for a sustainable life.

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