RWE has selected the preferred suppliers for the HVDC electrical transmission system for its 1.4GW Sofia Offshore Wind Farm. A consortium formed of GE Renewable Energy ’s Grid Solutions and Sembcorp Marine will supply the HVDC system for Sofia, one of the world’s largest offshore wind projects, located on Dogger Bank, the shallow area of the central North Sea, 195km from the nearest point on the UK coast.
Sven Utermöhlen, Chief Operating Officer Wind Offshore Global of RWE Renewables, said: “We are keen to support the growth of both onshore and offshore wind energy in the UK, one of our core markets in Europe. The choice of GE’s Grid Solutions and Sembcorp Marine for the supply of the electrical system is an important statement of our commitment to grow our renewables portfolio in the UK and reflects our ambition to strive for continuous innovation in the development, construction, and operation of our offshore wind farms.”
GE’s Grid Solutions is the consortium leader, responsible for the EPC and installation of two HVDC converter stations capable of transmitting 1400MW at 320kV. Innovative converter modules and a new control system have been deployed for Sofia. It will be the most powerful offshore converter station ever fabricated, and, being installed 220 km from shore, it will also be the most remote.
The project will be based on GE’s eLumina HVDC Control System. eLumina is the industry’s first HVDC system to use a digital measurement system fully based on IEC 61850.
The offshore converter platform will be built and installed by Sembcorp Marine. It will comprise a 10,000 tonne topside attached to a jacket foundation piled into the seabed. The onshore converter station will convert the electricity generated by the wind farm to 400kV before it enters the national grid.
Construction of the wind farm is due to begin onshore at its Teesside converter station early next year, with offshore construction expected to start in 2023.