Moving along with Scotland’s ambitious plans to be the European leader in wind energy, Samsung has announced that it will base its first European offshore wind project in Fife. The venture is said to be worth up to £100m and is expected to create 500 new jobs in the clean energy sector in Scotland.
Korean-based Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has also signed a multi-million pound deal with East Kilbride-based David Brown Gear Systems (David Brown), to supply gearbox systems for its next generation of offshore wind turbines. SHI will be working closely with Scottish Enterprise which is the country’s economic development agency as well as with Fife Council. The plan is to set up manufacturing facilities for gear box assembly and blade manufacturing in Scotland to assist with the project.
First Minister Alex Salmond, said “I am extremely pleased to welcome this inward investment by Samsung Heavy Industries which further reinforces Scotland’s place in the development of the next generation of offshore wind turbines. Their choice of Scotland as their first base in Europe for renewable technology development is testament to the fact this country is fast becoming the European centre for research and development in new offshore wind technologies. For Methil to be chosen as the test site for Samsung Heavy Industries’ new 7MW wind turbine is another example of this country’s ability to secure investment from global multinationals.”
Several other companies including Taqa, Avaloq, FMC Technologies, Aker, Ineos, PetroChina, Dell, Gamesa, BNY Mellon, State Street, Amazon, Hewlett-Packard and Mitsubishi Powers Systems have also announced similar investments in Scotland totalling almost £400 million.
Scotland is ideally located for wind power. There are several projects already underway and some that are already generating a considerable amount of energy. Scotland’s wind turbines provide an average capacity factor of 40 percent higher on its western and northern coasts. This is far above the EU average of 25 percent electricity production.
More than 11.5 GW of onshore wind potential exists, and the offshore potential is double that. Although offshore turbines are more expensive to install, the amount of electricity they can generate cannot be ignored. Scottish people have also become more open to the idea of having windfarms close to where they live. Windfarms are also becoming a tourist attraction. Whitelee Windfarms near Glasgow, which is the largest in Europe, has opened its doors to visitors and gives educational tours to students about the potential of wind energy. With all this and more, Scotland’s development in wind power is an exciting journey in the renewable energy landscape.
Image Credit: Akhila Vijayaraghavan ©