The 1.4 GW Sofia and the 1.2 GW Dogger Bank C offshore wind projects have marked the start of their onshore construction with an official ground-breaking in Teesside, the UK.
The separate wind farm projects are sited on Dogger Bank in the middle of the North Sea, more than 190 kilometres from the North East coast. The power they produce will be transmitted by export cables that arrive on shore between Redcar and Marske-by-the-Sea, in Teesside.
Despite different ownership – Sofia is owned by RWE Renewables while Dogger Bank C, the third phase of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, is owned 50/50 by SSE Renewables and Equinor – the projects are cooperating closely due to their proximity and to reduce impacts on local stakeholders.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and Jacob Young, MP for Redcar, joined management from both projects plus from landowner Sembcorp Energy UK at the site of the onshore converter stations, adjacent to Wilton International, to officially kick-off the work and have an early tour of the site.
”The official start of onshore construction is a culmination of many years of planning and development and testament to a huge effort, so it was a pleasure to be able to welcome Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and Jacob Young MP to site today,” Sofia Project Director Matthew Swanwick said.
”But it is also the start of an intense period of activity and we look forward to our continued positive working relationship with Dogger Bank C , Sembcorp Energy UK and all our contractors and stakeholders over the coming years.”
The early phase of site activity is being carried out by contractor Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK and will continue for the rest of the year in readiness for the arrival of the converter station contractors in 2022.
Dogger Bank Wind Farm Project Director, Steve Wilson, said: ”As responsible developers working in the same area we’re committed to ensuring the impact on local businesses and communities is minimal. We were delighted that Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, Jacob Young MP and Andy Koss of Sembcorp Energy UK joined us on-site today to mark the start of this work by UK-based Jones Bros. This event marks an important milestone for both developments and demonstrates great progress for the future of green energy in the UK .”
The projects, being built on a 20-acre plot, will be one of the largest construction projects that Wilton International has seen in recent years.
”Following the groundworks undertaken by Sembcorp Energy UK, it’s fantastic to see this next stage of the project now underway,” Sembcorp Industries CEO UK & Middle East, Andy Koss, said.
”Teesside is becoming an important hub for the offshore wind sector, due to its industrial and manufacturing heritage, experienced workforce, and location. We are well equipped and ready to deal with major infrastructure projects such as this, and proud to facilitate sustainable solutions that will help the UK reach its net zero target.”
The work to construct both the converter stations will take around four years and is due to be completed in 2025.