Wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa has announced plans to build a manufacturing facility in the Port of Leith.
If the project gets the go ahead, it could be worth up to €150 million (£125m) of investment and is expected to support between 800 and 1,000 jobs. The factory will make blades and the generator units that sit at the top of the turbine.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey said the plans were evidence of the UK wind sector’s promise: “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.”
However, while the UK Energy Secretary tried his best to sell the “United Kingdom” to the world’s investors, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond wanted to remind everyone where the majority of the UK’s renewables would be built: “It’s a validation of the course that this Scottish Government has been steering.”
Back in 2011, Gamesa established a new R&D facility in Strathclyde, currently employing more than 60 engineers. The company is in the process of moving its global offshore wind headquarters to its new London offices.
Despite welcoming today’s announcement for UK renewables Greenpeace’s policy director, Dr Doug Parr said: “Cameron and Osborne’s hand-out of taxpayers’ money to the oil industry in this week’s budget really doesn’t provide the right signals for British firms to invest in growing industries such as wind power.”
DECC might disagree as they have plans to install as much as 18GW by 2020, more than ten times current levels.