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Prysmian to provide cable design and installation services for Sofia offshore wind farm

Prysmian’s brand new cable-laying vessel Leonardo da Vinci will install Sofia’s export cables.
Prysmian’s brand new cable-laying vessel Leonardo da Vinci will install Sofia’s export cables.

Prysmian Group has been chosen to provide cable design and installation services for a North Sea offshore wind project.

RWE Renewables awarded a contract to the Italian firm to create and maintain the 320 kilovolt (kV) high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable system for its 1.4 gigawatt (GW) Sofia Offshore Wind Farm on Dogger Bank.

The setup will carry power from the developments’ offshore converter station, 141 miles to the onshore converter station in Teesside.

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

It also means Sofia will be the first offshore wind project to use the 170-metre-long Leonardo da Vinci ship, which it’s claimed will be the most advanced cable-laying vessel in the world when it becomes operational in 2021.

Onshore construction is due to 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 is due to be take place in 2024.

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy will supply the 100 offshore wind turbines, while a consortium of GE’s Grid Solutions and Sembcorp Marine will provide the HVDC transmission system.

RWE is the sole owner of the development, which is its largest offshore wind project to date.

Sven Utermöhlen, chief operating officer wind offshore global of RWE Renewables, said: “We are delighted to announce the selection of world leading cable supplier Prysmian as our preferred bidder for this package and confirm the project will be the first to use their latest HVDC cable technology and the cutting-edge Leonardo da Vinci.

“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.”

Hakan Ozmen, EVP projects BU, Prysmian, said: “We are honoured to support RWE Renewables in this important offshore wind project, providing our state-of-the-art cable technology to support UK’s sustainable energy system towards the country’s net-zero emission target.

“The development of grid infrastructures for the transmission and distribution of electric power from renewable sources is strategically important, and positions Prysmian as the leading company for the energy transition.”

Detlev Waimann, CCO Projects BU, Prysmian Group added: “P-Laser is the first 100 percent recyclable, eco-sustainable, high-performance cable technology based on the use of a patented thermoplastic material, High Performance Thermoplastic Elastomer (HPTE) and on a zero-emission process that reduces CO2 emissions by 40 percent.

“This project sets an important technological milestone in the offshore wind industry, being the first ± 320kV DC offshore wind farm using P-Laser cable technology onshore.”

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