UK’s 1.4-GW Sofia offshore wind power project to ‘conditionally’ use 14-MW turbines from Siemens

Recyclable Wind Turbine Blade
The first six of Siemens Gamesa's 81-meter RecyclableBlades were produced at the company's blade manufacturing plant in Aalborg, Denmark. The product line is part of Siemens Gamesa's goal of manufacturing completely recyclable turbines by 2040. (Courtesy: Siemens)

Siemens Gamesa said it received a conditional order for 100 units of its new SG 14-222 DD offshore wind turbines for innogy’s 1.4 GW Sofia Offshore Wind Farm in the UK. A comprehensive service and maintenance contract is also included in the conditional order.

Construction on the Sophia project is expected to take place in 2024, with final investment decisions regarding equipment set to be made in the first quarter of 2021.

The project is located 195 km off the north east coast of the UK, on the shallow area of the central North Sea known as Dogger Bank. Each turbine will have a capacity of 14 megawatts and feature a rotor diameter of 222 meters using 108-meter long Siemens Gamesa IntegralBlades.

At 1.4 GW, Sofia is the largest project in innogy’s current development portfolio. The 593 km2 offshore wind park will be roughly the same size as the Isle of Man. Its sheer scale and size offer significant economic opportunities for the UK with potential supply chain benefits, infrastructure and associated jobs and contracts.

“As an economic recovery around the globe safely and slowly begins, we’re confident that offshore wind power will strongly contribute to providing jobs and energy stability at attractive prices,” stated Andreas Nauen, Siemens Gamesa CEO.

Sven Utermöhlen, Senior Vice President Renewables Operations Offshore at innogy SE said: “The selection of these state-of-the-art offshore wind turbines for Sofia, our largest offshore wind development project, reflects our ambition to strive for continuous innovation. Siemens Gamesa’s towering 14 MW machine is a perfect match for our flagship Sofia project, together cementing offshore wind‘s central role in the world’s clean energy future.”

Siemens Gamesa and innogy SE have partnered on offshore wind projects in the past, with Siemens’ turbines being used in the 504-MW Greater Gabbard project which was developed by Innogy SE and commissioned in 2013. Siemens also announced the firm order from innogy SE to supply the turbines for the 342-MW Kaskasi offshore wind power plant, located 35 kilometers north of the island of Helgoland in the German North Sea.

The order comes directly after the UK saw a record-breaking period of more than 60 days’ coal-free energy provided to the National Grid. This development will build upon the progress made by renewable energy in 2019, where the UK saw record levels of energy consumption provided by renewables and saw record-low prices for clean energy, dipping to just £39.50 per MW/h.

This project takes the total conditional order backlog for the new SG 14-222 DD platform to 4.3 GW, following additional conditional orders recently announced in Taiwan and the U.S.

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