Offshore, Project Development, Wind Power

Wind Production Facilities to be Built in United Kingdom

A Danish wind energy company will set up a production facility in Scotland.

CAMPBELTOWN, Scotland, UK, 2001-06-19 [SolarAccess.com] A Danish wind energy company will set up a production facility in Scotland. Vestas Wind Systems A/S will establish a subsidiary, Vestas – Celtic Wind Technology Ltd., to secure and expand its market in the British Islands. It will spend £9.5 million to lease 10,000 m2 of factory space near Campbeltown on the west cost of Scotland. It will invest another £2.8 million in production equipment, and the plant should be operational by early next year. The buildings will be leased from Highlands & Islands Enterprise, an organization that promote economic development. It will create 100 jobs in an area of high unemployment following the closure of the local Machrihanish Air Force base and the local shipyard. “After almost two years of planning, we are extremely pleased that this project is now progressing,” says Tom Pedersen, managing director of Vestas – Danish Wind Technology A/S. “It will provide an excellent platform for servicing clients in the rapidly expanding markets on the British Islands. assembly of wind turbines and production of steel towers.” “Mechanisms are now in place to meet ambitious political targets set for renewable generation of electricity, and the creation of a domestic industry to serve this market is the next natural step,” he adds. “Scottish Power Plc., the largest electric utility in Scotland, has been instrumental in this project, with their commitment to further expand their already large portfolio of wind farms in the Kintyre area and elsewhere in Scotland.” “The government is committed to bringing green energy from the margins into the mainstream,” explains British energy minister Brian Wilson. “The government is doing everything it can to help industry meet our target of supplying 10 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2010.” “Government direct support for renewables has also been boosted to over £260 million over the next three years,” he adds. “This factory is a perfect example of how a green revolution will not only reduce the effects of climate change but also create new sustainable jobs. The UK now provides a green market to support the development of a green manufacturing sector.” Federal spending on renewables includes £100 million for green energy announced this spring by the Prime Minister, and the £39 million in support for offshore wind from the Department of Trade & Industry announced last year. There is £50 million in support for offshore wind and energy crops from the National Lottery, £10 million for photovoltaics systems over the next three years, £12 million in grants for planting energy crops, and £55.5 million for enhanced renewable energy research. “I am also extremely encouraged that the Scottish Executive has announced that it has raised its target for the use of green energy in Scotland from the present 12 percent to around 18 percent by 2010,” says Wilson. “Much of this increase, driven by the Renewables Obligation, is expected to be met by new windfarms, and Vestas will be well placed to compete for this new business.” Vestas manufactured the turbines for Britain’s first offshore windfarm at Blyth, Northumberland. The £4 million project off Blyth Harbour uses two turbines to generate electricity for 3000 homes. Vestas claims to have 30 percent of the global market for wind systems. “Although the U.K. has the largest wind resource in the whole of Europe, it has fallen behind other countries in developing clean green energy,” says Mark Johnston of Friends of the Earth. “This new investment in 21st century technology is a big vote of confidence in the U.K. renewables market, a tremendous boost to jobs in the energy and engineering sectors, and a substantial long term benefit to the environment.” The facility is Britain’s first commercial scale wind turbine plant. “Renewable energy is vital in the fight against dangerous climate change and the need to use less coal, oil and gas,” adds Johnson. “Developments such as the new Vestas plant demonstrate that the U.K. and Europe is serious about making the Kyoto Protocol work, with or without the United States.” “As we approach the international climate conference in Bonn next month, Tony Blair and John Prescott must stand firm with the European Union to provide the global leadership that is essential to get the agreement ratified and into force next year,” he says. Britain has 800 grid-connected wind turbines at 60 sites, with units imported from Denmark and Germany. The government announcement in April to approve 600 turbines at 18 offshore sites will represent an investment of £1.5 billion. The Utilities Act approved last year will soon lead to the introduction of a ‘Renewables Obligation’ on electricity suppliers that will require them to annually increase the proportion of renewable energy sold to customers. The government has set a target of 10 percent of all power generation to be from renewables by 2010.