ScottishPower and Gamesa in new wind power projects

ScottishPower is this week expected to announce another significant investment in renewables alongside Spanish firm Gamesa, which will unveil plans to manufacture equipment for wind turbines.

First Minister Alex Salmond will also travel to Bilbao to meet executives of ScottishPower parent Iberdrola and to discuss Gamesa’s plans. It is thought Gamesa will say that it is looking at a number of sites to establish facilities.

Salmond will meet the president of the Basque regional government, or Lehendakari, to discuss the Basque model of economic performance and how Scotland and the Basque region can work together on renewables and banking.

He will also hold talks with executives from Spanish banks Santander and BBVA on opportunities for investment in Scotland’s growing wind energy and banking sectors.

Ahead of his trip tomorrow, Salmond said: "Scotland has long-standing links with the Basque Country and we are keen to build on this relationship and learn from this successful European region.

"During the financial crisis, the Basque Country outperformed Spain as a whole and during 2009 the Basque economy contracted by 3.3 per cent compared to 3.6 per cent in the rest of Spain. This visit will help us identify and enhance the opportunities for real, practical collaboration between us and bring investment and jobs to Scotland.

"This economic performance is to be praised and there is no doubt there are lessons to be learned from the Basque economic model which could further help to make the case for Scotland to have more levers and powers to improve economic performance."

ScottishPower is keen to develop links with overseas firms and is linking up with Oslo firm Hammerfest Strom to build tidal machines in Scotland.