Sembcorp Marine and GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions have secured a contract from RWE Renewables, to supply the high voltage direct current (HVDC) electrical transmission system for the Sofia Offshore wind farm in the UK.
Located on Dogger Bank, 195 km off the north east coastline of UK in the central North Sea, Sofia spans an area of 593 km2. With a capacity of 1.4 gigawatt (GW) that will power the equivalent of nearly 1.2 million UK homes with clean and renewable energy, Sofia will be one of the largest wind farms in the world when completed.
Sembcorp Marine and GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions began early design works for the project in July 2020, after being chosen as the preferred supplier of the HVDC electrical transmission system. The HVDC system represents Sofia’s second largest contract and is worth approximately £600 million (S$1.12 billion).
The contract work scope comprises the design, manufacture, installation, commissioning and maintenance of the offshore converter platform (OCP) and the onshore converter station (OCS), including all ancillary equipment. Sembcorp Marine’s scope of work includes the design, construction, installation and commissioning of the OCP.
The OCP, at the heart of the wind farm, comprises a 17,000-tonne topside and jacket foundation structure piled into the seabed 220 km from the nearest shore. It will be the most powerful and most remote OCP ever built.
Sven Utermöhlen, Chief Operating Officer Wind Offshore Global of RWE Renewables said: “Signing this contract with the consortium of GE’s Grid Solutions and Sembcorp Marine for the supply of Sofia’s HVDC electrical system reflects RWE’s strong commitment to innovation and to pushing the boundaries of what is capable within the sector. The 1.4GW Sofia project is our first to use the HVDC technology, which was selected to maximise the wind farm’s export capacity from a location so far from shore. We are delighted to be working with such a strong pairing on the delivery of this flagship project located on the remote Dogger Bank, in the middle of the North Sea.”
Samuel Wong, Head of Sembcorp Marine Offshore Platforms said: “Sembcorp Marine is excited to work on this mega-project with GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solution to support RWE Renewables’ Sofia Offshore Wind Farm project to augment its supply of wind energy in the UK.”
“As the HVDC consortium leader for the Sofia Offshore Wind Farm, we are excited to move ahead with this project,” said Raj Iyer, Grid Integration Leader at GE’s Grid Solutions. “The award of Sofia and operational success of DolWin3 offshore wind HVDC last year are evidence that GE’s Voltage Source Converter technology is now well established, and that GE has the ability to commercially deliver on this latest and most advanced HVDC technology.’’
Construction of the offshore converter platform by Sembcorp Marine will start this year with delivery and installation at the Wind Farm site in 2023.
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