Power boost for Scotland’s green energy sector as plans for Leith turbine blade factory revealed

Scotland’s vision of being a world leader in renewable power has come a step closer as an international manufacturer picks Edinburgh as the location for a new wind turbine blade factory.

Vestas, the Danish company behind some of the world’s most powerful turbines, is seeking permission to build a manufacturing hub at Leith docks, one of Scotland’s two Green Freeports, where it would produce its 115m-long B236 model for offshore wind schemes.

It has lodged a Proposal of Application Notice with the city council for the production facility, along with a lay-down area and ancillary development, on land east of the port’s Imperial Dock.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The new base will create hundreds of skilled jobs, according to the firm, and fill an important local gap in the supply chain for renewable energy components.

The move comes amid a surge of development activity in Scotland, with around 20 offshore wind projects in the pipeline under Scotwind leases.

The plans are at an early stage, with Vestas warning that a final investment decision has yet to be made and will depend on certainty over future orders.

Scotland is hailed as a front-runner in green energy, with a huge expansion in renewables over the past 20 years.

The Vestas turbine blade factory at Leith docks would produce the company's 115m-long B236 model for offshore wind farmsThe Vestas turbine blade factory at Leith docks would produce the company's 115m-long B236 model for offshore wind farms
The Vestas turbine blade factory at Leith docks would produce the company's 115m-long B236 model for offshore wind farms

However, there has been widespread criticism that Scottish people and firms have missed out on the economic benefits, with most components imported.

The latest round of offshore wind expansion aims to ensure more Scottish-based suppliers are used.

The UK has only two existing turbine blade manufacturing bases – a long-established Vestas facility on the Isle of Wight and another in Hull, run by German-Spanish partnership Siemens Gamesa

The next stage of the process for Vestas will involve a consultation with the Leith community, before a full planning application is submitted to Edinburgh City Council.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Final checks are made on a giant wind turbine blade mould at the Vestas factory in Nakskov, DenmarkFinal checks are made on a giant wind turbine blade mould at the Vestas factory in Nakskov, Denmark
Final checks are made on a giant wind turbine blade mould at the Vestas factory in Nakskov, Denmark

A company spokesperson said: “The UK’s offshore wind sector has strong potential, and Vestas has identified the Port of Leith as a possible location for a wind turbine blade manufacturing facility.

“A final investment decision has not been made and will be based on several factors, including the viability of the business case and the market outlook.”

Chinese firm Mingyang Smart Energy is also in the planning and development process for manufacturing turbines in Scotland.

Related topics:

Comments

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.