Press release | 2016-07-06 | 16:38 PM

Wind energy agreement confidence booster for sector

The UK wind industry is to get a vote of confidence tomorrow (6 July, 2016) with two of its largest players agreeing to co-operate on potential supply contracts.

CS Wind UK, the Campbeltown wind turbine tower steel fabricators employing 170 local people, and Vattenfall, the Swedish state-owned wind farm developer, are to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) committing both to co-operation over potential future contract and supply opportunities for Vattenfall’s UK development pipeline.

The signing of the MoU will be witnessed by Paul Wheelhouse MSP, the Scottish Government’s Energy Minister at Campbeltown Town Hall, the day before the start (7 July) of a major investment by CS Wind UK to increase capacity in its Machrihanish facility.

Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse, said: “This MoU is the start of a great collaboration between CS Wind UK and Vattenfall, which has the potential to secure local jobs within the community and see the companies working together on a number of onshore and offshore wind projects in the future.

“The £27 million investment undertaken by CS Wind UK, which will increase production capacity at the Campbeltown plant, highlights the importance of both the onshore and offshore wind sectors to the Scottish economy.  I warmly welcome this important collaboration which will help to deliver on our aim to capture, for Scottish engineering and the wider renewables supply chain, a far greater share of the economic value arising from the construction phase of wind energy projects.”

Lesley Black, Head of UK Sales for CS Wind, said: “This  marks an exciting time for CS Wind with the start of significant investment in the factory,  which will ensure high quality, cost competitive towers for both on and offshore wind projects being built in the UK .

“This MoU with Vattenfall is another strong signal that UK manufacturers and suppliers have an important part to play in the development of windfarm projects.  It is encouraging that developers  like Vattenfall who are looking to develop projects in the UK are using UK suppliers where possible for large components and thereby, securing jobs and a long term future for the local economies.”

Guy Mortimer, Vattenfall’s Head of Onshore Wind Development in the UK, said: “The Scottish onshore wind sector has grown significantly and made an important economic contribution in Scotland thanks to continued Scottish Government support. We hope that the offshore wind sector will follow suit. As a result major companies like CS Wind UK, employing nearly 200 local people, are making substantial investments in the Scottish economy. Vattenfall is developing a number of onshore wind farms in the UK and so we welcome this opportunity to support and co-operate with CS Wind UK and help it continue its Scottish economic success.”

The MoU means that Vattenfall will give CS Wind UK the opportunity to tender for tower supply contracts on future Vattenfall onshore wind farm projects. Vattenfall has also committed to discuss further opportunities associated with its UK offshore wind projects.

CS Wind UK is due to break ground on a major new £27 million investment on Thursday 7 July at the 15 year old facility. The investment will increase production volume for onshore wind and allow for the fabrication of larger diameter towers for the offshore wind sector. The facility upgrade follows the acquisition in April this year of Wind Towers (Scotland) by the South Korean manufacturer CS Wind Corporation.

Vattenfall has a number of onshore wind farms in development in the UK today. If constructed, its onshore wind farm development projects in Scotland alone would require in excess of 100 towers. Vattenfall is also developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, off Aberdeen, with 11 turbines and is due to start the planning process on its 1.8GW Norfolk Vanguard in the southern North Sea.