Further boost to offshore wind technology

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A new £12.5 million centre to develop next-generation offshore wind technology in Scotland has been officially opened by First Minister Alex Salmond and Jorge Calvet, Chairman and Chief Executive of leading international turbine manufacturer Gamesa.

The Spanish-based company has located its Offshore Wind Technology Centre at Strathclyde Business Park in Bellshill, some eight miles from Glasgow city centre, and is already employing 40 engineers.

Gamesa hopes to be employing more than 100 staff by the end of this year, rising to 180 within three years.  Work at the technology centre is dedicated to the design and development of the company’s offshore wind platform G14X-6/7.0MW.

The official opening took place at the close of the two-day Scottish Low Carbon Investment conference, where more than 100 speakers, including Nobel Laureate and former American Vice-President Al Gore, and around 600 delegates gathered to discuss the opportunities and challenges of financing clean-tech innovations, including offshore renewable energy.

The FM said: “This year has seen another hugely successful low carbon investment conference and I’m determined that we build on the many discussions, from the floor and between individual delegates, to drive forward this exciting industry to greater achievements – to deliver sustainable economic growth and ensure Scotland continues to make a significant contribution to the global fight against damaging climate change.

“I am delighted to join with Sr Calvet, to celebrate the opening by Gamesa – a world-leading turbine manufacturer – of its Offshore Wind Technology Centre at Strathclyde Business Park. I welcome the arrival in Scotland of a company with such a strong reputation in this sector. Clearly this market is highly mobile and Gamesa’s decision to develop its next generation turbine technology in Scotland is a strong endorsement of our workforce and of the level of skills and expertise that we can offer inward investors who chose to establish here.

“The Scottish Government, Scottish Development International and our enterprise agencies will continue our work to create the optimum conditions for low carbon investment to ensure we remain well-placed to become an international hub for low carbon expertise and a green energy powerhouse for Europe.”