First monopile foundation in place at Sofia Offshore Wind Farm

In the coming months, Van Oord will install a total of 100 monopile foundations.

First monopile foundation in place at Sofia Offshore Wind Farm

Van Oord’s offshore installation vessel Aeolus has installed the first monopile foundation at the RWE Sofia Offshore Wind Farm. 

The 1.4 GW Sofia Offshore Wind Farm, one of the largest offshore wind projects in the world, will have enough capacity to power 1.2 million average UK homes. 

The Sofia wind farm is located on Dogger Bank in the central North Sea, 195 kilometres from the North East coast of the UK. RWE contracted Van Oord for the design, engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) of the monopile foundations and array cables for this project. Project execution is being managed by Van Oord Offshore Wind UK from their MPI Offshore office in Stokesley, Teesside. 

Van Oord deployed its flexible fallpipe vessels Bravenes and Nordnes to install scour protection at the locations where the monopiles are now being installed. The monopiles have a diameter of up to 8.8 metres, a length of up to 92 metres and a weight of up to 1,530 tonnes. They have been manufactured by EEW in Rostock, Germany and are transported by barges to the Port of Tyne. This port serves as the storage and marshalling base for the WTG foundations and is located near Newcastle on the River Tyne in North East England.  

Roeland Ris, Project Director at Van Oord, said:

‘We’re very pleased to announce reaching this significant milestone. Following thorough preparations, offshore construction is now in full swing, driven by a high performing project team and great cooperation with all partners involved.’

For this project, so-called extended monopiles are used, eliminating the need for a transition piece. To complete the WTG foundations, the monopiles will be equipped with secondary steel components consisting of main access platforms, internal platforms, boat landings and upper ladders. The secondary steel components have been manufactured by various suppliers in the Netherlands and Poland and are also transported to the Port of Tyne. Later this year, Van Oord’s cable-laying vessel Calypso and trencher Dig-it will be deployed to install the 360 kilometres of array cables. The cables have been manufactured in Greece and are stored in the Port of Blyth, which is located just north of Newcastle.