First Monopile Foundation in Place at Sofia Offshore Wind Farm


Van Oord’s offshore installation vessel Aeolus has installed the first monopile foundation at RWE’s 1.4 GW Sofia Offshore Wind Farm, located on Dogger Bank in the central North Sea. 

In the coming months, the company is set to install a total of 100 monopile foundations. 

RWE contracted Van Oord for the design, engineering, procurement, construction and installation of the monopile foundations and array cables for this project. Project execution is being managed by Van Oord Offshore Wind U.K. from their MPI Offshore office in Stokesley, Teesside. 

Van Oord deployed its flexible fallpipe vessels Bravenes and Nordnes to install scour protection at the locations where the monopiles are now being installed. The monopiles have been manufactured by EEW in Rostock, Germany and are transported by barges to the Port of Tyne. 

“‘”We’re very pleased to announce reaching this significant milestone,” says Roeland Ris, project director at Van Oord. “Following thorough preparations, offshore construction is now in full swing, driven by a high performing project team and great cooperation with all partners involved.”

For this project, so-called extended monopiles are used, eliminating the need for a transition piece. To complete the WTG foundations, the monopiles will be equipped with secondary steel components consisting of main access platforms, internal platforms, boat landings and upper ladders. 

The secondary steel components have been manufactured by various suppliers in the Netherlands and Poland and are also transported to the Port of Tyne. 

Later this year, Van Oord’s cable-laying vessel Calypso and trencher Dig-it will be deployed to install the 360 kilometers of array cables. The cables have been manufactured in Greece and are stored in the Port of Blyth, which is located just north of Newcastle. 

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