Iberdrola Invests In Wind Power in Scotland

Since 2007, Iberdrola has invested £2.7 billion in UK businesses, a substantial part of this in Scotland. Over the next two years, Iberdrola expects companies from various fields, such as the legal profession, construction companies and contractors, to be among those who will benefit from the increased contract awards and spend. Iberdrola retains more than 1,800 suppliers in Scotland, including Scottish Coal, renewables development company Pelamis, and Mott MacDonald, the management, engineering and development company.

First Minister Alex Salmond said: "Scotland is hugely significant within Iberdola’s plans for the future and the commitment the company has shown to our country is immensely important.

"As well as the significant contribution to the economy through contracts, the wider Iberdrola Group has recently located the UK arm of its engineering and construction business (IEC) in Lanarkshire creating 150 jobs and taken the decision to locate the base for the global offshore renewables business in Glasgow.

"The company also signed a £700 million contract with Scottish Coal, the single largest coal contract in Scottish history.

"But it is in the field of renewables where we feel we can further strengthen our relationship. With unrivalled energy resources off our coast and a range of wave, tidal and offshore wind development already underway, Scotland leads the way in generating power offshore.

"We have an estimated 25 per cent of Europe’s offshore wind and tidal resource and 10 per cent of its wave potential, a renewable energy resource which is unrivalled in Europe and together no doubt we will see significant progress and groundbreaking achievements in low carbon energy generation and innovation.

"Only last year, ScottishPower Renewables officially opened Whitelee, Europe’s largest onshore windfarm, and we continue to watch with interest as the company develops world-leading plans for Carbon Capture and Storage technology at Longannet power station in Fife. These developments will all play a part in spearheading a whole new industry that could support tens of thousands of jobs and further spur on the renewables revolution."

The First Minister discussed Iberdrola’s plans for investment in Scotland during a visit to Bilbao to further strengthen economic links with the Basque Country.

Senor Ignacio Galan, chairman of Iberdrola, said: "In the coming years, Iberdrola will intensify its firm commitment to Scotland. We plan to make investments in the United Kingdom of £4,000 million in the 2010-2012 period, two-thirds of which will go to Scotland.

"In the future, we want to see many more Basque companies going down the same road, setting up new business relationships, promoting the transfer of knowledge and technology and ultimately, creating new business opportunities. This will mean that Iberdola will continue to be a catalyst for development in Scotland and the Basque Country, two lands of great importance for our company and for which we have major plans in the future."

Anne MacColl, Interim Chief Executive of Scottish Development International, said:

"Exceptional energy innovation and a supportive business environment combined with unrivalled human and natural resources in offshore, wave and tidal energy makes Scotland a world-leading location for companies operating in the renewables sector. This latest news from Iberdrola is a ringing endorsement of Scotland strengths in the sector and we look forward to continuing our work with the company."

In June, Sr Galan became the latest high profile member of the GlobalScot network thanks to his continuing commitment to bringing inward investment into Scotland, supporting the growth of the Scottish renewables industry and building on existing trade links between Scotland and Spain.

Welcoming him to the network, the First Minister said: "The commitment of Sr Galan to Scotland is highly valued and it is only fitting that this is recognised by Scotland in this way."

A major international conference focused on maximising the multi-billion pound opportunities presented by renewable eergy and other low carbon developments will be held in Scotland on September 28 and 29. Organised by Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, with the support of the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise, the conference will provide a unique forum for Government, international finance, utilities and developers to engage directly on investment opportunities.

THe First Minister also announced today that Spanish renewable energy company Gamesa are to send a delegation to Scotland later this month to explore opportunities for investment.

The announcement follows a meeting between the First Minister and Jose Maria Ugusquiza, Member of the Board of Directors, Gamesa. Representatives from Gamesa will be gathering information to evaluate the potential of Scotland as a suitable location for potential investment. With more than 15 years’ experience, Gamesa is a world leader in the designing, manufacture, installation and maintenance of wind turbines, with more than 18,000 MW installed in 20 countries on four continents.

For commercial reasons, no further detail can be revealed at this stage.

Mr Salmond said of Gamesa´s interest: "With unrivalled energy resources off our coast and a range of wave, tidal and offshore wind farm development already underway, Scotland leads the way in generating power offshore.

"We have an estimated 25 per cent of Europe’s offshore wind and tidal resource and 10 per cent of its wave potential, a renewable energy resource which is unrivalled in Europe.

"Gamesa’s visit to Scotland on this fact-finding trip is a further vote of confidence in the talent, expertise and infrastructure we have to support the development of a clean, green renewables future.

José María Vázquez Ugusquiza, Member of the Board of Directors, Gamesa, said: "Gamesa will play a leading role in offshore wind energy’s progress and wants to be at the centre of the development process. Therefore, the visit to Scotland will help in our decision making about potential investments in the UK, which we recognise is becoming a renewable energy hub with significant wind turbines projects and a promising future for offshore.

"We have a clear interest in establishing a local presence in Scotland: we want to be in the best position to offer our customers the best service. We are currently nearing the final stages of decision-making; therefore, we regard our meeting today with the First Minister as a positive development in that process."

The company is also a global benchmark in the market for the development, construction and sale of wind farms, with more than 3,500 MW installed and a wind farm portfolio totalling 22,000 MW at varying stages of development in Europe, America and Asia.

With 30 manufacturing facilities in Europe, the USA, China and India, and 4,400 MW of annual manufacturing capacity, Gamesa has an international workforce of more than 6,300 people.