Page last updated at 21:46 GMT, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Iberdrola plans global wind farm base in Glasgow

A wind turbine
The base will incorporate planning and design for offshore wind farms

The Spanish firm which owns ScottishPower has chosen Glasgow as its global base for building offshore wind farms.

Iberdrola expects to build up its staffing to more than 200 engineers, planners and marine biologists within five years.

The company already has plans to construct 10,000 megawatts of offshore wind capacity in British waters.

This would provide for Scotland's energy needs nearly twice over.

And as one of the world's biggest renewable energy companies, it is expected the Glasgow base can be its specialist centre for similar developments across the rest of the world.

Last week, Iberdrola announced it also favours Glasgow as the centre for an engineering division specialising in new renewable energy technology, bringing a further 250 jobs to the city.

Iberdrola Engineering and Construction will develop high-voltage grid improvements on behalf of ScottishPower, including substations and links from new wind farms.

Glasgow is our preferred location to establish the new business, and we hope to tap into the highly skilled resource pool in the area
Ignacio Galan

It is also to work on carbon capture and storage technology, with the company hoping to win government support for a trial project at Longannet coal-burning power station in Fife.

Ignacio Galan, chairman and chief executive of Iberdrola, commented on the engineering jobs: "Glasgow is our preferred location to establish the new business, and we hope to tap into the highly skilled resource pool in the area.

"We have a close link to the city, with our largest UK office and our headquarters based there and we hope too that the new jobs we are creating will help to ensure that we continue to have a positive impact on the local economy."

Design and construction

The second announcement in two weeks will involve about 20 staff within ScottishPower Renewables being moved into the new Global Offshore Wind Division, and then building up scale over five years.

Its main task will be the planning, design and construction of a vast, 7,200 megawatt wind farm off the Norfolk coast, for which ScottishPower and its partner, Vattenfall, received approval last month. Construction is expected to begin in 2015.

Some of that will draw on experience with onshore wind farms, but will add marine biology and engineering expertise and planning specialists.

Iberdrola has offshore projects in Germany and Spain. It plans to invest more than £8bn in renewable generation by the end of 2012, more than half of it in the US.

Competitor firm Scottish and Southern Energy also chose Glasgow last October to set up a £20m Centre of Engineering Excellence for Renewable Energy. This is intended to back up its £3bn of renewable energy investment, including monitoring of wind farms and tidal turbines once they are in operation.

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