Scotland isn’t pussyfooting around on clean energy, aiming to meet 100 percent of its electricity needs with the green stuff by 2020. And as we recently reported, the country is making impressive progress toward that goal. But part of the sales pitch for this policy is that it will create good-paying clean energy jobs. How’s that going? Thanks to Samsung, better now than it was a week ago.
Scotland said the Heavy Industries division of the giant Korean company had agreed to base its first European wind project—the development of a 7-megawatt (MW) offshore wind turbine—in Methil, a coastal town in Fife, just across the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh. Scotland’s gung-ho green first minister, Alex Salmond, heralded the news, declaring the £100 million ($158 million) project would lead to more than 500 jobs while giving a big boost to the country’s effort to lure a collection of wind power supply-chain companies to the new Fife Energy Park.
David Brown Gear Systems has already committed to the site, and the Samsung announcement included word that it had hooked up on a “multimillion pound deal” with the Scottish company to supply gearbox systems for the next-gen offshore wind turbine. Now Salmond and a whole collection of players pushing renewables—including Scottish Enterprise, an agency that has poured £17 million ($27 million) into the Fife site—are aiming to keep the ball rolling.
“Scottish Enterprise, Fife Council and Scottish Development International are committed to work with Samsung Heavy Industries and David Brown to secure further investment in the form of a new wind turbine facility and associated gearbox plant at the Fife Energy Park at Methil—a significant move in that it could see much needed high-value employment in this area of Scotland,” Salmond said in a statement.