University and innogy’s Sofia
offshore wind farm have signed an agreement with the aiming of working
together to build local skills and capabilities to equip students for careers
in the offshore wind sector.
Through a structured partnership, Teesside University will help Sofia
ensure that necessary skills will be available throughout the wind farm’s
lifetime and that where feasible that those skills will be developed locally.
The two organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding which sets
out how they will work together on joint initiatives, training, educations,
skills development and creating employment opportunities.
Sofia's Senior Consents Manager, Kim Gauld-Clark, said: “We look forward
to working with the University on initiatives such as curriculum development,
delivering offshore wind STEM-related master classes, offering student
mentoring and internships, sponsoring directed study projects and taking
part in university careers fairs and events.”
Teesside University’s work with Sofia
will be led by its School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies
which has an established track record of working together with industry
to help companies fulfil their potential through graduate talent and relevant
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Kim Gauld-Clark on behalf
of Sofia and from Teesside University, by Siobhan Fenton, Associate Dean
(Enterprise and Business Engagement) in the University’s School of Computing,
Engineering and Digital Technologies.
Siobhan Fenton said: “The offshore wind industry is a rapidly developing
sector which provides a wide range of opportunities for collaboration,
employment and skills development.
“Sofia’s project is extremely ambitious and we are delighted to be working
alongside them as the wind farm develops – providing additional opportunities
for our students and graduates and combining our joint expertise for the
greater benefit of the region.
It is expected that highly-skilled jobs in the UK’s offshore wind sector
will almost triple from today’s figure of around 9,000 to almost 27,000
by 2030, both directly with developers such as innogy but across the UK
supply chain so it is vital that educational institutions work closely
with the industry to ensure the skills are available.”
The consented Sofia
wind farm, located 195 km off the UK coast on Dogger Bank in the North
Sea, is in relatively shallow water depths of 21 to 36 metres. The final
investment decision for Sofia
is expected to be made during 2020, when contracting agreements with prospective
supply chain partners will be completed. The external financing process
will then be finalised.
Onshore works are scheduled to begin in 2021, with offshore construction
getting underway from 2022. First power is due to be generated in 2024/25
and on the current schedule, the wind farm would be fully operational by
the end of 2026.
Once in operation, the total amount of power Sofia
could generate would be enough to provide almost 1.2 million average UK
homes with their annual electricity needs. The planned investment volume
is in the region of £3 billion. Sofia Offshore Wind Farm is 100% owned
by innogy SE. innogy will review all options regarding the ownership and
financing structure of the project in order to maximise value for the company
innogy is also developing the 857MW Triton
wind farm 32km off the coast of Lincolnshire in the east of England. The
wind farm will enter offshore construction in the first half of 2020 with
first power anticipated in 2021. Once fully operational, it will be capable
of generating renewable energy to power the equivalent of over 800,000
typical UK households.
For more information on wind farm developments, click
for our interactive map of offshore wind farms, infrastructure and ports.