Major International Firms Invest in Scottish Offshore Renewables

Major International Firms Invest in Scottish Offshore Renewables

Scotland’s growing reputation for the development of pioneering wind and wave and tidal renewable technologies is attracting many major global players who are establishing research and development bases in the country. 

Over the past 12 months, international companies such as Gamesa, Mitsubishi, Samsung, ABB and Alstom have all announced plans to invest in Scotland to develop renewable technologies.

Gamesa, the Spanish-based international renewables manufacturer, has made two major investments in the Scotland. In 2011, it established an R&D facility in Strathclyde, near Glasgow – and this year it announced that Port of Leith, Edinburgh, would be the location for the company’s 150 million euro UK offshore wind manufacturing base.

Commenting on the announcement Anne MacColl, Chief Executive of Scottish Development International, said:

“Scotland’s strength in offshore wind is key to Gamesa’s decision to identify Leith as its preferred wind turbine manufacturing location.

“The inward investment proposition on offer is compelling and we are delighted that the company has confirmed it will create around 800 new jobs and invest a further E150 million in Scotland.

“Gamesa is leading the way in offshore wind and, together with Scotland’s vast resources, skills and world-class research, we have the opportunity to turn our low carbon ambitions into a reality.”

Japanese manufacturing giant Mitsubishi plans to invest up to £100 million in Scotland to develop renewable energy research and is also considering creating a major offshore wind turbine manufacturing site.

As part of its initial investment, Mitsubishi will open the Centre for Advanced Technology in Edinburgh – an engineering facility that will lead the research Mitsubishi hopes will turn into a “game changer” in the offshore space.

Similarly, Korean manufacturing giant Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) plans to build its first European offshore wind manufacturing base in Scotland to develop its new 7MW offshore wind turbine.

Scottish Enterprise and Fife Council are working with SHI to develop the new £100 million manufacturing project at the Fife Energy Park in Methil. The site is an example of how Scottish Enterprise has invested in infrastructure and Scottish Development International promoted inward investment to help develop the country’s renewables sector.

Anne MacColl said:

“We acquired the site in Fife six years ago and, alongside Fife Council, have invested some £17 million to date to develop the industrial land into a 21st century facility for the developing renewables sector.

“Under our new strategic agreement we will work closely with SHI and look to further enhance the Fife Energy Park to ensure it offers the very best facilities for offshore wind manufacturing and assembly.”

Scottish Enterprise’s Technology Park in East Kilbride, just south of Glasgow, attracted ABB, a leading power and automation technology group, to establish its base in Scotland for its Power Systems division.

Stephen Trotter, Head of ABB’s Power Systems Division in the UK, said:

“Scotland is a key element in ABB’s long-term strategic growth plans, especially as wind farms and other renewable energy sources such as wave and tidal power are now playing an increasingly important role in the overall energy mix.”

Alstom, a world leader in transport infrastructure, power generation and transmission, was attracted by the potential of Scotland’s wave power. It has partnered with SSE Renewables in a joint venture agreement to develop the 200MW Costa Head Wave Project, north of Orkney – the world’s largest wave farm.


Offshore WIND staff, August 2, 2012; Image: Scottish Enterprise