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. These will continue throughout 2021. 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 have now been signed with the project's Tier 1 suppliers to provide the main component packages, including turbines, foundations and electrical infrastructure. Construction work on Sofia began June 2021 with enabling works at the site of the project's onshore converter station in Redcar, Teesside. This work is continuing throughout the year with the converter station contractor - GE's Grid Solutions - due to move onsite in early 2022. 

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. As the projects moves through its construction phase, surveys will continue to remain an integral part of our activity.

Offshore

A thorough six-month offshore site investigation in 2020 collected information enabling Sofia to build up a comprehensive picture of the seafloor and sub seafloor conditions. The results also informed the need for further surveys and in 2021, the first five of 12 ornithology aerial-LiDAR surveys to collect data on kittiwake flight height and abundance were completed. The remaining surveys will be flown between March and August 2022.

Offshore pre-construction benthic surveys, taking a range of grab samples and drop down video transects along the export cable route and array area, have also been completed. As part of the benthic pre-construction surveys the team also carried out drop-down video assessments at the locations of the aids to navigation buoys to review them for sensitive benthic habitats and archaeology features. To finish our offshore survey campaigns for 2021, investigation of potential UXO and archaeology features was undertaken in the nearshore area in advance of landfall horizontal directional drilling (HDD) works beginning in spring/summer 2022 along with further UXO and archaeological surveys along the cable route.

Onshore

Most of the onshore surveys are now complete in readiness for the start of building work on the onshore converter station from early 2022 and civils works on the onshore cable corridor from spring 2022. In 2021 these 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.

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. Work on the landfall site and onshore cable corridor will follow in 2022.

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.

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.

 

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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