Ducting work for two wind farm projects nearing completion on Teesside

  • 29 March 2023

More than 80 percent of Sofia and Dogger Bank C ducts in place and tunnelling works underway

More than 80% of the ducts that will house the cables transmitting renewable energy from two offshore wind projects to the national electricity network has been installed in Teesside.

Working in cooperation, Sofia Offshore Wind Farm and Dogger Bank C, the third phase of Dogger Bank Wind Farm share onshore cable corridors and to minimise local disruption, have joined forces to have their cable ducts installed by the same contractor at the same time.

The projects are both located on Dogger Bank, more than 195 kilometres from the north-east coast of England, with their export cables coming ashore on Teesside, between Redcar and Marske-by-the-Sea.

Sofia is 100% owned by RWE, and Dogger Bank Wind Farm is a joint venture between SSE Renewables, Equinor and Vårgrønn. Although they are owned by different companies, the developers realised early that it made sense to work jointly on their shared cable corridor, with civil engineering works being carried out by J Murphy & Sons (JMS). Sofia is leading the works on behalf of both projects.

More than 80% of the ducts that will house the cables transmitting renewable energy via the national electricity network on Teesside from two offshore wind farm projects are now in the ground and trenches backfilled.  Work is underway on one key section of the route that requires the ducts to be installed using tunnelling rather than by trenching or horizontal directional drilling. Shafts have been established and a micro-tunnel boring machine is now working 24/7 to create four tunnels under the railway line at Black’s Bridge/ Redcar Road.

The projects’ high voltage direct current (HVDC) cables will be pulled through the ducts, seven kilometres to two new converter stations now under construction on the Wilton complex to the north-east of Lazenby. The first of the cables will arrive in the summer to be pulled through the ducts.

Each project will have a further two kilometres of high voltage alternating current (HVAC) cables to transmit the converted power to the existing National Grid substation at Lackenby, where it will enter the national electricity network for distribution to homes and businesses.

Dogger Bank Wind Farm onshore package manager Stephen Reynolds, said: “We really appreciate the ongoing patience of the local community as our joint contractor continues to install this critical infrastructure in readiness for first power from Dogger Bank C in 2025.

“Some of our ongoing works near the beach landfall requires extended working hours during evenings and weekends as we progress the projects, but our contractors are committed to ensuring mitigation is in place to minimise disruption wherever possible.”

Elsewhere on the two projects’ work is ongoing at the landfall site near Marske-by-the-Sea, with horizontal directional drilling due to take place between March and May in preparation for receiving the first cables this summer.

There may be some evening, overnight and Sunday working required at this location, but contractors are committed to ensuring noise and disturbance is minimal.

And at the site adjacent to the Wilton complex, near Lazenby village, work continues on the construction of the projects’ onshore converter stations as the valve halls, control rooms and storage buildings start to take shape. Some Sunday working will be required for the remainder of the year to carry out elements of groundwork and electrical installation, with measures also being taken there to minimise disruption.