Siemens Gamesa cements firm order for Sofia

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) has been awarded the firm order from RWE for the 1.4 GW 
Sofia offshore wind project. It will be the first to install the SGRE's flagship 14 MW Direct Drive offshore wind turbine. 

The 1.4 GW
Sofia offshore wind farm is located 195 kilometres from the UK coast on Dogger Bank, in the shallow area of the central North Sea. RWE announced last week (24 March 2021) that it had taken the Financial Investment Decision on its 1.4 GW Sofia offshore wind project. The 100% RWE-owned project represents a total investment of approximately £3 billion. Final project completion is expected by Q4 2026.

At 593 square kilometres, the
Sofia project will feature 100 turbines will be installed furthest from shore of any project yet undertaken by SGRE and will feature the what it claims are the world’s largest single-cast turbine blade at 108 m long. SGRE stated that the B108 blades being used at Sofia are more than six times longer than the first offshore wind turbine blades ever installed, namely the 16-meter long blades used at Vindeby in Denmark in 1991. Turbine installation is set to commence in 2025.

Marc Becker, CEO of the Siemens Gamesa Offshore Business Unit, said: “The UK is the world’s largest offshore wind market, so it is appropriate that it should be the first to install the world’s largest turbine in production, the SG 14-222 DD. We are proud to be partnering with RWE on another highly significant project, and to bring our industry-leading machine to this huge development. A wind power project of this scale is possible due to the cutting-edge use of technology in the turbines, in their manufacturing, and in installation. Rapid innovation of proven technology has made this leap in generating capacity possible – and with it a leap forward toward the goals of decarbonising energy and achieving Net Zero.”

Sven Utermöhlen, Chief Operating Officer Wind Offshore Global for RWE Renewables, said: “As a leading player in offshore wind, we are delighted to be the first company to sign a firm order with SGRE for these state-of-the-art offshore wind turbines, and that Sofia will be the first project to install them. The fact that our largest offshore wind project will utilise the most innovative and technologically advanced turbines, demonstrates RWE’s continued ambition to be a trailblazer at the forefront of the offshore wind sector. We have previously partnered with SGRE on a number of our offshore wind projects, and we look forward to constructing a flagship project that will make a significant contribution both to expanding our renewables portfolio and to the UK’s ambition of growing offshore wind capacity to 40 gigawatts by 2030.”

Two further preferred supplier agreements for wind power projects employing the SG 14-222 DD turbine have been signed, totalling 2.94 GW: the 300 MW
Hai Long offshore wind project in Taiwan and the 2.64 GW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project in the USA. The machines, with a capacity of up to 15 MW with Power Boost, feature a 222 m rotor diameter and overall height of 252 metres.

The B108 blades take advantage of the IntegralBlade technology, as well as the Siemens Gamesa PowerEdge solution and lightning protection system. Recently produced, the first three B108 blades will be installed on the SG 14-222 DD prototype in Østerild, Denmark later in calendar year 2021.

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.