Subsea cable laying starts at 1.4GW Sofia offshore wind farm

Offshore construction has started to install the subsea cable infrastructure from the UK’s north east coast to RWE’s 1.4GW Sofia offshore wind farm on Dogger Bank, in the central North Sea.

Cable contractor Prysmian’s Leonardo da Vinci vessel will lay the first section of high voltage direct current (HVDC) export cable. It will operate out of the Port of Middlesbrough and lay two 130-kilometre sections of cable in parallel. Installation of two remaining 90km sections of marine export cable is planned for 2024. 

By late 2024, Leonardo da Vinci will have laid four sections of ±320kV HVDC marine export cables with XLPE insulation, totalling 440km, plus the accompanying communications cables.

Subsea cable work marks the start of a three-year offshore construction phase, which will include the arrival of the project’s offshore converter platform, due to make the journey from Batam, Indonesia to the UK in 2024. 

Also planned for next year is the start of installation of the 100 extended monopile foundations and array cables.

Comprising 100 Siemens Gamesa SG 14-222 DD 14MW turbines, Sofia represents an investment by RWE of more than £3 billion (€3.47 billion) and is expected online in 2026.