Prysmian Picked for Cable Works at RWE's Sofia Offshore Wind Farm


Italian power cable company Prysmian has won a contract to provide export cables for RWE Renewable’s largest offshore wind project, 1.4 gigawatt (GW) Sofia offshore wind farm, in the UK North Sea.

Prysmian will provide a turn-key high voltage subsea and land export cable connection, using the installation vessel Leonardo da Vinci.

A preferred bidder agreement was signed Tuesday between RWE Renewables and Prysmian Group for the design, supply, offshore route preparation, installation, commissioning, and protection of the 320 kilovolt (kV) high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable system that will carry power from Sofia’s offshore converter station 227 kilometers to the project’s onshore converter station in Teesside.

The agreement includes symmetrical monopole HVDC submarine and land export cables, the latter using new eco-sustainable cable technology.

The contract involves more than 440 kilometers of ±320kV submarine export cables with XLPE insulation, and 15 kilometers of ±320kV land cables with P-Laser insulation, plus communications cables.

Sofia will be the first offshore wind project to use the 170-meter-long Leonardo da Vinci, which will one of the most advanced cable-laying vessel in the world when delivered in 2021.

Sofia wind farm is 100% owned by RWE, the second biggest player in offshore wind globally and the UK's second-largest generator of electricity. By 2022, RWE plans to invest €5 billion net in the continued expansion of renewable energy, and with the UK one of their core markets in Europe.

Sven Utermöhlen, Chief Operating Officer Wind Offshore Global of RWE Renewables said: "Today’s signing is another tangible step for RWE Renewables’ Sofia as the project progresses towards a final investment decision in early 2021 and is set to make a major contribution to the UK’s climate goals.”

Onshore construction will get underway at Sofia’s converter station site in Teesside early next year, with offshore construction anticipated to start in 2023. The installation and commissioning of the HVDC export cable are due to take place in 2024.

This HVDC export cable news follows the announcements that a consortium of GE’s Grid Solutions and Sembcorp Marine will supply Sofia’s HVDC transmission system and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy will supply the wind farm with its giant SG 14-222 DD offshore wind turbines.

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