23 March 2012
Wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa today gave a huge vote of confidence to the UK offshore wind industry by announcing their plans to build a major manufacturing facility in Leith which will produce the giant wind turbines that are set to be built around the British coast.
The project could be worth up to €150m Euros of investment (around £125m) and is expected to support over 800 direct jobs. The new factory is expected to make the enormous blades for wind turbines - which can be longer than an Olympic swimming pool - as well as the generator units that sit at the top of the turbine.
Along with their Research and Development centre in Glasgow and their offshore wind HQ in London, this announcement shows Gamesa’s commitment to establishing the UK as the main focus of their worldwide offshore wind business.
Welcoming Gamesa’s announcement, Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“This is fantastic news for Scotland and shows that the UK remains an attractive place for foreign investment.
“Scotland benefits from UK wide initiatives to promote renewables and access to the entire UK consumer market. That coupled with the economic security that comes from being part of one of the world’s most successful unions makes Scotland an obvious place for companies like Gamesa to invest in.”
Energy Secretary Ed Davey added:
“I am delighted that Gamesa has chosen to invest in Leith and cement its commitment to the UK offshore wind market. The Government has been working with the company on this project for some time so it is great to see real progress being made.
“This was clearly a closely run race between two excellent locations - a powerful message to the offshore wind industry that the UK is the place to be.
“Projects like this have the potential to bring investment and support jobs across the whole of the country. Being a United Kingdom means we can attract the large investment necessary and keep costs down.”
Notes for editors:
- Gamesa, a global maker of wind turbines based in Spain, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Forth Ports, Leith, Scotland and the two will now work together in preparation for a longer term agreement.
- The UK already leads the world in the amount of offshore wind installed, and has ambitions to see as much as 18GW by 2020, provided costs come down - a more than 10 fold increase on current levels. Read the Renewable Energy Roadmap
- The Department of Energy and Climate Change has made up to £60m of capital funding available to support the development of major offshore wind manufacturing facilities in assisted areas of England. The Scottish Government has established a £70m pot for national renewable energy infrastructure projects.
- The Government will shortly respond to its consultation on support levels for renewable electricity under the Renewables Obligation from 2013 to 2017 - see DECC’s press release for more information.
- Later this year, the Government plans to legislate to implement proposed reforms to the electricity market