Wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa announced plans to build a major manufacturing facility in Leith, Scotland, today.
The investment could be worth up to £125m and is expected to create over 1,000 new jobs building wind turbines around the British coast.
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 Gamesa’s R&D centre in Glasgow and their offshore wind HQ in London, this announcement gave a huge vote of confidence to the UK offshore wind industry that was welcomed by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Mr Cameron used the announcement as a battleground for the upcoming Scottish referendum on independence. He stated, “Scotland benefits from UK wide initiatives to promote renewables and access to the entire UK consumer market. 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.”
However, a spokesperson for the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said that initiatives were a devolved issue and not within the scope of the UK’s powers.
Gamesa chairman and CEO, Jorge Calvet said: “If market conditions are favourable this would mean many high quality jobs for the area. We hope to play a central role in strengthening the UK’s offshore wind energy sector and improving security of energy supply in the future.”
Energy Secretary Ed Davey added: “The Government has been working with Gamesa 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.”
The site at the Port of Leith will manufacture also deal with operations and maintenance services.
Gamesa established a new R&D facility in Strathclyde in 2011, currently employing over 60 engineers, which is steadily growing and is expected to employ 180 people.