EDF has signed a fifteen-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with RWE to purchase renewable electricity from Sofia, which will be one of the largest single offshore wind farms in the world due to start generating power in 2025 and set for full generation in 2026.
In what represents RWE and EDF’s largest renewable energy agreement to date, EDF will offtake all of the 6.5-terawatt hours (TWh) of renewable wind energy that Sofia will produce each year. This equates to almost half of the electricity used in the North East of England annually, or the equivalent of the power needs of over 1.2 million homes. Providing additional large-scale offshore wind capacity to support the UK in achieving its ambitions of net zero emissions by 2050.
With offshore installation expected to begin in 2023 and project completion due in 2026, Sofia will have a capacity of 1.4 GW, stretch across an area of ocean around the same size as the Isle of Man (593 sq km) and consist of 100 turbines each standing at 252 metres tall. Its completion will not only represent a turning point for customers looking to use more renewable energy, but also for the UK’s electricity market – it is estimated that Sofia will save more than 2.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year, the equivalent of flying between London and Sydney more than 1.3 million times.
Philippe Commaret, Managing Director, Customers at EDF, said: “This agreement marks a major milestone in our progress towards achieving net zero, as well as the UK’s ambition to grow offshore wind capacity to 40 gigawatts by 2030. We are focused on working with partners like RWE to furnish the grid with the scale of renewable energy that it so desperately needs. This is exciting news for our customers and will also set a precedent for the UK’s energy industry – delivering large scale, practical solutions on the road to net zero.”
Sven Utermöhlen, CEO Offshore Wind, at RWE Renewables, said: “The UK plays a key role in RWE’s strategy to grow its renewables business and to become carbon neutral by 2040. Sofia will be one of the largest single offshore wind farms in the world once constructed, the signing of the PPA with EDF demonstrates our ability to support electricity suppliers in providing CO2-free power to their customers.”
EDF is not only Britain’s biggest generator of zero carbon electricity, but also offtakes the most renewable electricity of any energy supplier in the country, through both equity-owned generation and capacity under PPA contracts.
RWE is helping to lead the way to a green energy world. With an extensive investment and growth strategy, the company will expand its green generation capacity to 50 gigawatts internationally by 2030 and is investing €50 billion gross for this purpose in this decade.
RWE is currently constructing the Sofia and Triton Knoll offshore wind farms, which, when completed will expand RWE’s current UK portfolio of nine offshore wind farms. In addition, RWE recently signed Agreements for Lease with The Crown Estate to develop extension projects at four offshore wind farms.