NO: DELENG / 2017 / 70663
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"Leonardo da Vinci" Vessel Commences Cable Laying for World's Largest Offshore Wind Farm Connection to UK Coast
By Sea and Coast | 05/09/2023
RWE AG, the German power utility, has begun offshore construction on the Sofia wind farm, a 1.4 GW project located on Dogger Bank in the middle North Sea off the east coast of the United Kingdom.
The offshore construction phase involves the installation of the initial portion of the high voltage direct current export cable. This task is being carried out by the cable contractor Prysmian's vessel, the Leonardo da Vinci. The vessel has been operating from the Port of Middlesbrough and has successfully laid two cable sections, each spanning 130 kilometers. Two additional sections, each covering 90 kilometers, are scheduled for installation in the near future. The Leonardo da Vinci is expected to deploy a total of 440 kilometers of marine export cables by the end of 2024.
The Sofia wind farm represents an investment of over GBP 3 billion and is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2026. This project will become RWE's largest offshore wind farm to date, as noted by Markus Krebber, the company's CEO in a LinkedIn post.
RWE already operates ten offshore wind farms in the UK, boasting a combined installed capacity of 4 GW.
The successful laying of the first export cable section is the result of 13 years of meticulous preparation, planning, and the strong support of stakeholders and suppliers, according to Sven Utermoehlen, the CEO of RWE Offshore Wind.
The offshore converter platform for the Sofia wind farm will be transported from Batam, Indonesia to the UK next year. In 2024, the installation of 100 extended monopile foundations and array cables will commence. The wind farm will be equipped with 100 Siemens Gamesa turbines, each with a capacity of 14 MW, including 44 turbines with recyclable blades. Onshore construction for the project began in June 2021.