Sofia courted by the Humber as ANOTHER potential wind farm win

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 8 Feb 2019

Progress towards a potential new wind farm for the Humber, and hundreds MORE jobs, is being made.

While Innogy’s Triton Knoll dominated proceedings at Grimsby Renewables Partnership’s conference, Sofia was also on the radar.

Located 165km off the North Yorkshire coast and part of the Dogger Bank Round Three developments, it would be the furthest yet from the thriving Humber quays, but Associated British Ports has previously highlighted the advantageous sailing time from the Tees - what many would assume was the closest ports complex.

And with the German-owned developer committing to Grimsby’s Royal Dock, and the operations and maintenance cluster strong, it could prove tempting.

So far the North East - and notably Able Seaton Port, owned by the same company that is behind North Killingholme’s Able Marine Energy Park - has recorded big wins in large-scale construction load-out, with foundations flourishing, and MHI Vestas committing to turbine and tower pre-assembly there too for Triton Knoll. 

Melissa Read, development project manager on Triton Knoll, told how she had also worked on Sofia in its previous incarnation as Teesside B, which gained consent in 2015.

Back then Innogy, or parent company RWE, was part of a four-strong consortium that made up Forewind, but has wholly owned this site since 2017.

“Work on the submission for that is ongoing,” she said. “The supply chain plan was submitted last week, which is the first phase step in qualification for the auction.

MORE: GRP chair describes offshore wind as the most transformational inward investment ever seen

“We are really increasing the scale of projects at Innogy. This is 1.2GW, with permission being sought to up to 1.4GW, and it would feature up to 200 turbines.”

Electricity comes ashore from the near 600 sq km site by the Tees, between Marske and Redcar, and will feed in to Lackenby Substation, on the outskirts of Middlesbrough. 

The proposal is to be fully operational by the end of 2025, with onshore work starting in 2022 and offshore in 2023.

Unable to give too much more detail, Ms Read added: “Being in the Contracts for Difference phase, it is a competitive process with a lot of confidentiality around the design work which is ongoing.”

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