Vestas has opened its Scottish wind turbine factory at Macrihanish near Campbeltown on Scotland's Kintyre peninsula. Known as Vestas-Celtic Technology Ltd, the new plant was formally opened by Scottish first minister Jack McConnell. Coinciding with the opening, the company won a £25 million commitment from Powergen Renewables to buy 71 wind turbines. These Vestas 850 kW machines are earmarked for a 60 MW wind farm at Derrybrien in County Galway, Ireland. The developer is a 50-50 joint venture between Powergen Renewables and Saorgus Energy Ltd of Tralee. The Derrybrien wind farm has a power purchase contract under the latest round of the Alternative Energy Requirement (AER5), and will be the largest in Ireland, also dwarfing all developments to date in the British Isles. Work at the Derrybrien site is expected to begin later this year, with completion in 2003. Tom Pedersen of Vestas-Celtic Wind Technology says the Derrybrien project is good news for the company's order book. The 10,000 metre factory was built to serve the market in the British Isles, he says. It currently employs 100 people and is also manufacturing 15 turbines under a £9 million order for Scottish and Southern's wind farm at Tangy, Scotland, and turbines for the Carnsore Point wind farm in Ireland, being developed by the Electricity Supply Board. McConnell claims the new factory will help revitalise Campbeltown -- an unemployment blackspot. "This is an ideal site-an excellent location for building turbines for Scotland, the UK and further afield-right in the centre of an extremely high wind resource," he says.
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