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First phase of UXO search at Sofia Offshore Wind Farm completed

James Fisher Renewables completed the first part of a two-phase contract to investigate unexploded ordnance (UXO) and potential archaeological features ahead of the installation of export cables for RWE’s Sofia Offshore Wind Farm.

James Fisher Renewables completed the first phase of UXO identification at Sofia Offshore Wind Farm, deploying risk mitigating ROVs. During September and October 2021, the company investigated 35 near shore targets to assess the need for disposal. Observation and work-class remotely operated underwater vehicles were successfully launched from a small vessel to facilitate a diver-less operation, delivering reduced risk, increased accuracy and improved efficiency.

As the UK seeks to expedite the construction of offshore wind to achieve its target of generating 40GW of electricity using this method by 2030, efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally sensitive UXO disposal solutions that mitigate risk will become increasingly important.

The next phase will start in May 2022. Then, up to 125 deep water targets will be investigated using the same proven approach. Any confirmed UXO targets will be removed using an innovative ‘low order’ disposal technique to minimise the noise from the removal and therefore also reduce the risk of harm to marine mammals and sea life.

Wayne Mulhall, managing director at James Fisher Renewables, said: “We are delighted to be continuing our established and successful relationship with RWE on the Sofia Offshore Wind Farm. Following a thorough investigation of this particular route, we successfully confirmed all scoped targets as non-UXO.

Sofia, located on Dogger Bank in the North Sea, is set to become one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms - as well as one of the farthest from shore. Upon reaching full capacity, estimated to take place in 2026, it will generate enough electricity to power as the equivalent of 1.2 million UK homes.

James Fisher Renewables
Windfair Editors
James Fisher Renewables, UXO, search, wind farm, offshore, vessel, RWE, Sofia, ROV, risk, archaeological features, Dogger Bank

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