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The 1.4GW Sofia offshore wind farm project in UK’s North East coast

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.

Rob McLauchlin, Sofia’s general site manager (offshore), welcomed SMC to the project. He expressed his delight in having a reputable, knowledgeable service provider join the Sofia team. The project approaches its upcoming crucial phase of activity, offshore construction.

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Sofia offshore wind farm project

“We are extremely proud to win the Sofia construction services contract,” said SMC Managing Director Ian Coates. “It is a significant accomplishment for the business and a credit to the dedication of the whole SMC team. This is both onshore and offshore.”

“SMC has taken great care to ensure that we continued to develop our offering. We will also be able to cement our position as a ‘best in class supplier of our respective services. This follows the success of the Triton Knoll project, where SMC undertook similar works on behalf of RWE.

“Our recent successes in this area have allowed SMC to build and retain a strong team of specialists. This is with global solutions delivered to various clients, focusing on local content and personnel development. It is something we know to have been a key priority for Sofia,” the company claims.

The 1,400 MW Sofia offshore wind farm is 195 kilometers from the UK’s coast on Dogger Bank in the central North Sea. It is among the world’s largest single offshore wind farms and one of the farthest from shore. It will comprise 100 14 MW turbines across a 593 km2 site, approximately the same size as the Isle of Man.

Reported earlier

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 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.

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