The project, located 195km from the nearest point on the North East coast, will involve an investment of around £3bn ($4.2bn).
Featuring 100 14MW wind turbines from Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, the offshore wind facility is said to be the largest project currently in construction across RWE’s entire renewables fleet.
The first official construction works at the project will be onshore activities, also known as enabling works.
The onshore activities will be carried out by Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK at a new high-voltage direct current converter station site. The converter station is located near Lazenby, Teesside, and will be built by GE’s Grid Solutions early next year.
Initial works on the 7km onshore cable route are expected to begin at the same time. RWE will announce the contractor for this package later this year.
Prysmian will supply and install the onshore export cable from a point between Redcar and Marske-by-the-Sea to the new converter station before it is linked to the existing National Grid substation in Lackenby, Teesside.
RWE Renewables Wind Offshore Global COO Sven Utermöhlen said: “Achieving this start-of-construction milestone for Sofia Offshore Wind Farm is a great moment for the entire RWE Renewables team and a fantastic tribute to the 11 years’ hard work and collaboration from everyone involved, including our suppliers and stakeholders.
“Building a project of this size and scale is a great opportunity to demonstrate our expertise in delivering cost-effective, innovative offshore wind energy worldwide.”
Offshore installation works are set to begin in 2023, with the whole project expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2026.
In 2010, a consortium of energy companies, including RWE, secured the rights to develop offshore wind energy on Dogger Bank from the Crown Estate, as part of its Round III Leasing Round.
In March 2021, RWE made a financial investment decision on the Sofia Offshore Wind Farm project.