Gamesa, the Spanish wind turbine group, has chosen the Edinburgh port of Leith as the site for two manufacturing plants that could eventually employ up to 800 people and hundreds more in the supply chain.
Last year, Gamesa established a research and development centre for offshore engineering in Glasgow, which currently employs more than 60 engineers, but is steadily growing and is expected to employ 180 people.
The company, in which the Spanish energy group Iberdrola has a 20 per cent stake, is also moving its global offshore wind headquarters to its new London offices, with an expected headcount of 70 staff.
Gamesa has signed an agreement with Forth Ports, which owns the port of Leith and hopes to turn it into a renewable energy hub, after the economic downturn stalled plans for extensive property developments on the Scottish capital’s waterfront.
The plan for an initial investment of about €150m is an important boost to the Scottish renewable energy industry.
Scotland currently has only one turbine-building site, in Kintyre, which has faced financial difficulties.
But there was disappointment in north-east England that Gamesa had not chosen Hartlepool, which was also in the running.
Javier Perea, the company’s commercial and projects managing director, said Gamesa’s policy was to source as many components as was commercially viable through local supply chains.
The company had been in talks with more than 200 UK companies and had identified more than 100 as potential suppliers. He hoped to secure firm orders for turbines by 2013.
Get alerts on Scotland when a new story is published