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New wind farms push

General Electric (GE) and Siemens this week joined the push to invest in the UK’s offshore wind market saying they want to build turbine manufacturing plant here.

Siemens plans to spend £80M, while GE has pledged to spend £99M on wind turbine manufacturing plant. GE’s move is part of a wider European investment strategy.

The moves are expected to provide a huge jobs boost for UK wind technology production with GE expecting create 1,900 internal and supply chain jobs by 2020 and Siemens planning to recruit 700 when its plant is operational in 2014.

Business secretary Lord Mandelson said the annoucement was a “vote of confidence” in UK low carbon manufacturing.

Innovation

GE’s UK facility will produce its new, next generation 4MW offshore wind turbine and future generations of GE’s offshore technology.

The turbine will feature innovative technology that eliminates the need for gearboxes. Siemens said it was exploring several sites on the East Coast and in the North East and that it would make its decision about the exact location when the competition process for land development is complete.

Meanwhile Mitsubishi is investing £100M in UK wind turbine projects, Clipper is building a new turbine component factory in the North East and Mabey Bridge is to open a new turbine towers factory.

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