German energy company innogy SE confirmed that its 1.4GW Sofia offshore windfarm has been successful in the UK third contracts for difference (CfD) auction.

In the UK, new renewable energy projects are supported on a CfD basis, which offers green electricity projects a fixed ‘strike’ price for electricity over the project’s initial 15 years of operation.

Sofia offshore windfarm got a price of £39.65 per MWh and is located 195km off the UK coast on Dogger Bank in the North Sea.

innogy Renewables COO Hans Bünting said: “I am very pleased that Sofia, the largest project in our offshore wind portfolio, has been successful in the latest UK auction.

“We have passed an important milestone on the way to realising Sofia windfarm and also proved that we can continue to be successful in a very competitive market environment.

“Sofia’s auction success confirms the excellent work the team has done in recent years. Thanks to our extensive know-how in the development, as well as the construction and operation of complex offshore projects and our varied research and development activities we have succeeded in developing a valuable project and in further reducing the costs for offshore wind energy in the UK.”

The project can now move on to the next level that includes the final investment decision and construction phase. The final investment decision for the windfarm is expected to be completed in 2020, following which onshore works will begin in 2021. Offshore construction works at the site will start in 2022, with Sofia windfarm expected to become fully operational by the end of 2026.

It is expected to generate enough energy to power 1.2 million homes in the UK annually. The investment in the project is expected to be £3bn and it will be completely owned by innogy.