RWE to Build Sofia Offshore Wind Farm out of Port of Blyth

RWE has signed up Port of Blyth as an offshore construction base for its 1.4 GW Sofia Offshore Wind Farm.


Commissioned in December 2000, Blyth was home to the UK’s first offshore wind turbine pilot project, operated at the time by E.ON Climate and Renewables, whose activities have since become part of RWE.

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Turning full circle, Blyth will now be central to managing the offshore construction activities at the Sofia wind farm, located 195 kilometres off the UK coast on Dogger Bank, and which is progressing well with onshore works, the developer said.

The new-build Offshore Construction Base (OCB) will be located at Port of Blyth’s recently redeveloped Bates Clean Energy Terminal, and will become the management centre for the RWE project’s vessels and logistics throughout the offshore construction phase in 2024.

Source: RWE

It will be managed and maintained by Port of Blyth in support of the project throughout the three-and-a-half years’ construction period.

”Choosing the base for Sofia’s offshore construction has been a key decision as it will be home to the team for more than three years and will play a vital role in the successful completion of the project. The Port of Blyth offers us not only a strategic location and access to a strong marine supply chain but also an impressive new facility that will also ensure a legacy beyond the project,” Matthew Swanwick, RWE Project Director of Sofia, said.

Following the completion of the base in March 2023, a Service Operations Vessel (SOV) will visit the port once every three weeks, during which time there will be a full day of crew transfers and restocking of the vessels. SOVs provide a floating home for offshore construction teams for up to three weeks at a time.

Once construction is finished, RWE will operate the wind farm from its Grimsby Hub, which is being expanded at its base on Royal Dock, Grimsby. However, the buildings will not go to waste and will be retained by the port for future use, RWE said.

Earlier this year, Van Oord chose Port of Blyth as the location for the storage and mobilisation of inter-array cables for the Sofia wind farm.

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Sofia will consist of 100 Siemens Gamesa 14 MW wind turbine generators scheduled to be fully commissioned in 2026. The project is expected to enter the offshore construction phase in 2023.

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