Sofia moves into construction phase following investment decision

  • 24 March 2021

Positive financial investment decision for largest offshore wind project in RWE fleet

  • The 1.4 gigawatt offshore wind project will require an investment of approximately £3bn

  • Onshore enabling works to start in Spring and offshore construction in 2023

  • Final completion of the project expected by the end of 2026

RWE, owner of Sofia Offshore Wind Farm, has taken the financial investment decision on the project, the largest offshore development in its global renewables fleet. 

The project is now poised to forge ahead with construction, with onshore enabling works due to start in Spring in Teesside and offshore construction in 2023. Final project completion is expected by the end of 2026. 

Tom Glover, Chief Commercial Officer RWE Renewables and RWE UK Country Chair said: “Through this decision, we strengthen our commitment to growing and investing in renewable energy in the UK, and to playing a significant part in helping deliver the UK’s ambition to grow offshore wind capacity to 40 gigawatts by 2030. Today’s milestone and the achievements to come represent successful collaboration with the local, regional and national supply chain, and the local communities with whom we are committed to continuing to work. Through our investment, Sofia presents a great opportunity for RWE to unlock long-term local jobs, and business benefits, while delivering new renewable energy for over 1.2million UK homes every year.”

Preferred supplier agreements are already in place for all of Sofia’s key suppliers with contracts due to be finalised in the coming weeks.

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy is lined up supply 100 of its 14MW offshore wind turbines (SG 14-222 DD), which will be market-ready by 2024, right on time for installation on Dogger Bank. A specially formed consortium of GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions and Sembcorp Marine is set to supply a state-of-the-art transmission system for Sofia, including two HVDC converter stations. International marine contractor Van Oord is the preferred supplier for monopile foundations and array cables and plans to establish a logistics hub in the UK’s North East to deliver the work. Prysmian Group is due to provide a high voltage submarine and land export cable connection and will use its brand-new cable installation vessel Leonardo da Vinci – one of the most advanced of its kind in the world.

RWE’s UK offshore portfolio continues to expand in the UK. In addition to Sofia, the construction of RWE’s 857megawatts (MW) Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm (RWE’s pro rata share: 506 MW) is highly advanced. RWE is also progressing four extension projects, with a combined potential installed capacity of around 2.6 gigawatts (GW) (RWE’s pro rata share: 1.3 GW), and which are already engaging in public consultation. Meanwhile, the company recently successfully bid for two new offshore sites with a potential total installed capacity of 3 GW in The Crown Estate’s Offshore Wind Round 4 Leasing auction.