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Work continues on one of the largest offshore wind projects in the world

12 May 2020

Image: Fugro

Development work on one of the largest offshore wind projects in the world continues despite current problems faced by the industry due to Covid-19. Three DeepWind cluster members, SSE Renewables, Equinor and Innogy are developing projects totalling 5GW at the Dogger Bank site off the East Coast of the UK.

DeepWind member Fugro currently has a fleet of four vessels working on the huge 1.4GW Sofia offshore wind farm at Dogger Bank, located 165km off the east coast of the UK, carrying out site investigation work. Delivering this contract work in the midst of a global pandemic has added another layer of difficulty to the proceedings but Fugro have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of the crews involved.
Sofia, the largest project in DeepWind member Innogy’s development portfolio and one of the world’s biggest offshore wind farms, is due to start construction onshore in early 2021 and offshore in 2023. It is a further illustration of the UK’s dominance in the offshore wind sector and moves our highly ambitious 40GW by 2030 target a step closer to being realised.

Sofia Senior Project Manager, Damien Fensome said: “The health of the survey teams is our priority during the current COVID-19 situation so we have worked closely with our service provider Fugro to ensure compliance with Government guidelines and corporate policy in relation to the health, safety and welfare of employees,” he said. “With these measures in place it means we are able to continue our survey operations in an effort to maintain the construction schedule for this significant project, which represents a £3 billion investment into renewable energy infrastructure and a welcome boost for the UK economy.”

Two of Fugro’s vessels, the Fugro Scout and the Despina (on charter from Golden Energy Offshore), will continue and compete the geotechnical survey work started earlier this year on the wind farm array site . The other two vessels – coastal survey vessels Fugro Seeker and Fugro Mercator – will work close to shore as they carry out the nearshore geophysical surveys, just off the coast of Redcar, Teesside, involved in the 220km export cable corridor. Building on the results of the already completed export cable route surveys undertaken earlier by Fugro Pioneer and Despina, they will collect data that will inform both the design of the export cable and the installation methodology.

Further final site investigation work is due to start in July with a jack-up barge set to carry out nearshore borehole surveys along the export cable route at the landfall between Redcar and Marske-by-the-Sea.

Sofia Offshore Wind Farm is 100% owned by Innogy SE.
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