German utility RWE has completed the installation of the first offshore turbine foundation at the 1.4GW Sofia Offshore Wind Farm in the Dogger Bank area of the UK North Sea.

The wind farm is located 195km from the UK’s nearest coastal point. It will have a single offshore converter platform, with the electricity generated transported to landfall 220km away in Redcar, Teesside.

Following the installation of subsea cable infrastructure in 2023, the project has moved forward with the installation of the first of 100 foundations over a 593km² area.

Dutch offshore construction company Van Oord is executing the installation using the vessel Aeolus, which is expected to install three foundation monopiles per cycle.

This phase of the project can be influenced by sea conditions and is expected to be completed by spring 2025.

Manufactured by EEW in Rostock, Germany, each of the foundation monopiles is 92m tall with a diameter of 8.8m and weighs up to 1,530t.

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100 Siemens Gamesa 14MW offshore wind turbines will be used, with completion targeted for the end of 2026.

Each turbine will be 252m tall and will feature a 108m blade made of carbon and fibreglass with a rotor diameter of 222m. The turbines will cover an area of 39,000m².

The Sofia offshore wind farm will generate sufficient electricity to power 1.2 million UK homes.

RWE offshore wind CEO Sven Utermöhlen stated: “Sofia is RWE’s largest offshore wind construction project to date, and its furthest from shore. Installing the first monopile is a highly symbolic moment in the construction of every offshore wind farm. After 14 years of planning and preparation, this is a great achievement for the entire RWE team.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved for their contribution. Building a project of this size and scale is a great opportunity to demonstrate our expertise in delivering offshore wind energy around the globe.”

The operations and maintenance for the wind farm will be conducted from RWE’s new Grimsby Hub, which also supports the company’s Triton Knoll offshore wind farm and future projects.