Van Oord's Aeolus installation vessel

Foundation Installation About to Start on RWE’s 1.4 GW Offshore Wind Farm in UK

The installation of foundations is scheduled to kick off this month at the Sofia offshore wind farm site, located on Dogger Bank in the central North Sea, 195 kilometres from the nearest point on the UK’s northeast coast.

Van Oord’s offshore wind installation vessel Aeolus and special service support vessel (SSSV) Baltic Explorer are expected to arrive at the offshore construction site in mid-April, according to Notices to Mariners issued by the project team over the past few weeks.

Aeolus will be deployed for the transport and installation of the wind farm’s monopile foundations, under an EPCI contract Van Oord was awarded by the project owner RWE in 2021.

The installation of the project’s 100 monopiles, manufactured by EEW Special Pipe Constructions GmbH, is expected to be completed by mid-May 2025.

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During the first four monopile installations, noise monitoring operations will also be taking place. Van Oord will be utilising Baltic Explorer for the deployment, operation and retrieval of five noise monitoring stations, with the vessel scheduled to remain at the Sofia project site until mid-July.

The two vessels will be operating from the Port of Tyne.

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RWE’s Sofia offshore wind farm will feature 100 Siemens Gamesa SG 14-222 DD wind turbines, 44 of which will be equipped with 108-metre-long recyclable blades.

The project is scheduled to be fully commissioned in 2026. Once in full operation, the 1.4 GW offshore wind farm will be able to generate enough wind energy to meet the electricity needs of almost 1.2 million average UK homes.


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