£100m for Scottish energy centre

Industrial giant Mitsubishi is to invest £100m in a renewable energy research centre in Edinburgh.

Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi has announced it is to invest £100m in a research and development centre in the Edinburgh area.

The company has chosen Scotland as the site for the development of technically advanced offshore wind turbines.

First Minister Alex Salmond welcomed the announcement and said it confirmed Scotland's position at the forefront of research energy renewables.

The project could create up to 200 jobs by 2015.

Mitsubishi is also acquiring an Edinburgh University spin-off, Artemis Power, safeguarding 25 jobs.

The deal was made by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) through its subsidiary, Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe (MPSE), and announced at a press conference in the capital.

The firm said the development builds on an agreement with the UK government earlier this year to provide £30m to support the overall investment.

Scotland"s First Minister Alex Salmond (C), the chief executive of Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe, Akio Fukui (L), and the vice president of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Atsushi Maekawa, pose for photographers First Minister Alex Salmond welcomed the Mitsubishi investment

The company aims to deliver the hydraulic technology in a large offshore wind turbine, which it expects will be a "game changer" in offshore power.

Mr Salmond said: "Scotland is a leader in the development of clean green energy and boasts a world-class research and development base that is pioneering technologies which will have a global impact on combating climate change.

"Mitsubishi's decision to invest in Scotland demonstrates how Scotland's renewable revolution is gathering pace and that we have the quality infrastructure and skilled workforce to deliver success in this rapidly-growing industry.

"Over the long-term this announcement could result in the creation of a major offshore wind turbine manufacturing site in Scotland."

Akio Fukui, Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe chief executive, said the selection of Scotland was a "significant milestone".

He said: "The successful development of this technology will make Britain/Scotland a key player in the offshore wind supply chain, potentially leading to the development of manufacturing capacity delivering to the Scottish, UK and European markets."

Dr Richard Dixon, director of WWF Scotland, said: "The news that Mitsubishi has decided to make a major investment in our renewable industry demonstrates that Scotland is a major global player on marine energy.

"This investment will help create green jobs and deliver clean electricity.

"It shows the huge opportunities we have to develop the green technologies that will play an essential role in global efforts to tackle climate change while also helping build a low-carbon economy for Scotland."

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