Sofia offshore wind farm project in UK’s North East coast

Home » News » Sofia offshore wind farm project in UK’s North East coast

The three-year construction phase of the Sofia offshore wind farm project in the UK has begun.

The works have begun with the installation of subsea cable infrastructure from the UK’s northeast coast to the 1.4GW offshore wind farm site on Dogger Bank, in the central North Sea. Reportedly, Prysmian’s Leonardo da Vinci vessel, operating from the Port of Middlesbrough, will be laying the first section of the high voltage direct current (HVDC) export cable. This section will comprise the installation of a 130-kilometre double HVDC cable.

The installation of the second and the third section, which is 90 kilometres long, is planned for 2024. By the end of 2024, Leonardo da Vinci will have laid a total of four sections of ±310kV HVDC marine export cables with XLPE insulation plus the accompanying communications cables.

In addition to the installation of the aforementioned cable, this phase of the project also includes the arrival of the project’s offshore converter platform. The latter is due to make the journey from Batam, Indonesia to the UK in 2024. Moreover, it comprises the installation of the 100 extended monopile foundations and array cables. This is planned to start next year.

Sofia offshore wind farm project timeline 

Aug 2021

RWE selects GE consortium to supply its 1.4GW Sofia offshore wind farm project

RWE has selected a consortium of GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions and Sembcorp Marine to supply the 1.4GW Sofia offshore wind farm, one of the world’s largest offshore wind farm projects, located on Dogger Bank, the shallow area of the central North Sea, 195km from the UK coast’s nearest point.

As the consortium leader, GE’s Grid Solutions will be responsible for the engineering, procurement, construction, and installation of two High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) converter stations capable of transmitting 1,400MW of power at 320kV.

Innovative converter modules and a new high-tech control system have been deployed for Sofia. It will be the most powerful offshore converter station ever fabricated and will be installed at a point 220km from shore, so will also be the most remote.

The selection of the consortium is positive news for the UK as a significant element of all the primary HVDC equipment will be manufactured and fabricated at GE’s Grid Solutions’ Stafford facilities, which employ more than 1,000 workers.


The Sofia offshore wind farm project will be based on GE Grid‘s latest technology, utilizing its second-generation voltage source converter valve and featuring the first application of its state-of-the-art eLumina™ HVDC Control System.

eLumina is the industry’s first HVDC solution to use a digital measurement system fully based on the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61850, an important international standard defining communication protocols for intelligent electronic devices at electrical substations.

According to Sven Utermöhlen, Chief Operating Officer of Wind Offshore Global of RWE Renewables, the company is keen to support the growth of both onshore and offshore wind energy in the UK, one of their core markets in Europe.

“The choice of GE’s Grid Solutions and Sembcorp Marine for the supply of the electrical system is an important statement of our commitment to grow our renewables portfolio in the UK and reflects our ambition to strive for continuous innovation in the development, construction, and operation of our offshore wind farms,” he said.

Construction of the wind farm is due to begin onshore at its Teesside converter station site early next year, with offshore construction expected to get underway in 2023.

May 2023

Sofia offshore wind farm project: Contract awarded for provision of offshore resources and services

RWE’s Sofia Offshore Wind Farm has awarded a contract to Specialist Marine Consultants (SMC) to provide Offshore Resources and Services for the duration of the project’s offshore construction, beginning in 2023.

The turnkey package of works includes several services, such as the above-water offshore balance of plant works. It also includes statutory inspection and general TP maintenance, marine coordination resourcing, delivery of vessel inspections, project PPE management, specialist offshore construction resourcing, project consultancy support, and all related project management.