RWE selects consortium to build HVDC system for Sofia offshore wind farm

WCN Editorial Team 10 Jul 2020 EUROPE ENERGY & UTILITIES

German utility RWE has selected GE consortium for the construction of the high voltage direct current (HVDC) electrical transmission system for the 1.4GW Sofia offshore wind farm to be located 195km in the English North Sea.

The consortium of GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions and Sembcorp Marine will supply and construct the HVDC system for Sofia, one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world.

GE’s Grid Solutions has been given the responsibility of engineering, procurement, construction and installation of the two HVDC converter stations which can transmit 1.4GW of power at 320kV. The company aims to use its new converter modules and high-tech control system at the offshore wind farm.

GE’s Grid Solutions grid integration lead Raj Iyer said: “We are delighted to be chosen as the consortium leader for Sofia Offshore Wind Farm.

“This is recognition of our advanced technology, specifically our world-class eLumina HVDC Control System and second-generation converter modules, as well as our expertise in delivering this type of complex HVDC solution.”

The HVDC system will be based on GE Grid Solutions’ latest technology, using its second-generation voltage source converter valve and will also be the first to include eLumina HVDC Control System.

eLumina is claimed to be the first HVDC solution to use digital measurement system based on International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61850.

The offshore converter platform will be built and installed by Sembcorp Marine. The offshore converter will be the heart of the wind farm, which will include 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 UK grid.

Sembcorp Marine offshore platforms head Samuel Wong said: “Sembcorp Marine is excited to team up with GE to support the Sofia Offshore Wind Farm project. We thank RWE for this opportunity and for their confidence in our track record of delivering offshore platforms to major field developments in Europe and Asia.”

The consortium also stated that the UK can significantly benefit from the news, as all the primary HVD equipment will be manufactured and fabricated at GE’s Grid Solutions’ Stafford facilities where more than 1,000 workers are employed.

RWE Renewables wind offshore global chief operating officer Sven Utermöhlen said: “We are keen to support the growth of both onshore and offshore wind energy in 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.”


RWE selects GE consortium to build HVDC systems for UK offshore wind farm. (Credit: Unsplash/Nicholas Doherty.)

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