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Windtech International July August 2024 issue






Aeolus installs first monopile foundation at Sofia Offshore Wind FarmVan Oord’s offshore installation vessel, Aeolus, has installed the first monopile foundation at the RWE Sofia Offshore Wind Farm. Over the coming months, Van Oord will install a total of 100 monopile foundations.

The 1.4GW Sofia wind farm is located on Dogger Bank in the central North Sea, 195 kilometres from the North East coast of the UK. RWE contracted Van Oord for the design, engineering, procurement, construction, and installation (EPCI) of the monopile foundations and array cables for this project. The project execution is being managed by Van Oord Offshore Wind UK from their MPI Offshore office in Stokesley, Teesside.

Van Oord deployed its fallpipe vessels, Bravenes and Nordnes, to install scour protection at the monopile locations. The monopiles, manufactured by EEW in Rostock, Germany, have a diameter of up to 8.8 metres, a length of up to 92 metres, and a weight of up to 1,530 tonnes. They are transported by barges to the Port of Tyne.

For this project, extended monopiles are used, eliminating the need for a transition piece. To complete the wind turbine generator (WTG) foundations, the monopiles will be equipped with secondary steel components, including main access platforms, internal platforms, boat landings, and upper ladders. These components are manufactured by various suppliers in the Netherlands and Poland and 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 360 kilometres of array cables. The cables, manufactured in Greece, are stored in the Port of Blyth, just north of Newcastle.

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