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United Kingdom

Wind Wire: Manufacturing plans

Siemens is considering the UK and mainland Europe for its next wind turbine factory, which will mostly produce machines for offshore use.

"We are looking at two locations in the UK, one in Denmark and one in Germany," Rene Umlauft, chief executive of Siemens Offshore Wind, told UK newspaper The Observer. In September, the government awarded Siemens £1.1 million to develop the next generation power convertors for their larger offshore wind turbine. But according to the newspaper, Prime Minister Gordon Brown also met Siemens chief executive Peter Loscher in October, offering a financial package to persuade the company to set up shop in the UK. Siemens is considering a site in Northeast England and one in East Anglia, reports The Observer. Enticing a major turbine manufacturer to the UK would be a coup for the government, following the closure of Vestas' blade factory on the Isle of Wight earlier this year. In making its decision, Siemens - which has also recently won a contract to supply 152 2.3 MW machines for the 350 MW Clyde onshore wind project being developed by Scottish and Southern Energy in South Lanarkshire - will see what comes out of the UK's third and largest round of offshore wind licensing, which is expected to be announced by the end of the year, Umlauft says. He denies that the decision is dependent on Siemens winning a site licence for one of the Round 3 offshore development zones, however. The company is bidding through the group's finance arm, which is based in Germany, and has joined forces with Mainstream Renewable Power in the Smartwind consortium. Meantime, Siemens' cables business is considering choosing the UK to set up a centre of competence for its high-voltage direct-current technology for the offshore market.

 

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