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New Renewable Energy Centre of Excellence

Scottish & Southern Energy Scottish and Southern Energy plc ("SSE") has selected Glasgow as the location for its new Centre of Engineering Excellence for Renewable Energy (CEERE) in partnership with the University of Strathclyde.

CEERE will manage the development, design, engineering, project management, procurement and asset monitoring of SSE's portfolio of onshore and offshore wind farms in Europe. SSE is in the second year of a five year investment programme that will see £3bn invested in renewable energy projects by 2013.

The selection of Glasgow follows the award of £2.8m of Regional Selective Assistance under the programme operated by the Scottish Government. SSE currently employs over 70 staff in this area with over 300 skilled-professional jobs in total being created over the next three years.

CEERE will be created in partnership with the University of Strathclyde, the UK's leading university in power engineering and energy research, and will be developed in central Glasgow over the next three years at an estimated cost of £20m. Until the development is completed, SSE has secured short-term accommodation at the University. SSE and the University of Strathclyde are already partners in the Sustainable Glasgow consortium, which aims to help Glasgow City Council realise its vision to make Glasgow Europe's most sustainable city within 10 years.

SSE is the largest generator of electricity from renewable sources across the UK and Ireland and has offices in Portugal, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden and Germany.

Renewable energy is at the heart of Scotland's new economy and society, alongside carbon capture and greater energy efficiency. Achieving our ambitions requires a strong partnership between Government, industry and the wider public sector.

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said: "I'm delighted that Scottish and Southern Energy - the UK's largest generator of electricity from renewables - has decided to establish its Centre of Engineering Excellence in Glasgow. This is a significant commitment and investment by SSE in Glasgow and in Scotland, creating some 250 high quality jobs and safeguarding a further 70.

"Furthermore this initiative positions Glasgow to be at the epicentre of a key strand of 21st century engineering, just as the city dominated the engineering ages of the past.

"The regional selective assistance that we are providing has helped secure a substantial economic boost for Glasgow and deliver a major development to strengthen Scotland's position as a global leader in low carbon energy."

SSE Chief Executive, Ian Marchant said: "Our Centre of Excellence which will be known as CEERE will play a crucial part in helping SSE to realise its renewable energy goals in the UK, Ireland and elsewhere in Europe, helping to secure energy supplies and contributing to the development of a lower carbon economy.

"Having considered all of the options in mainland Europe, Ireland and the UK, we have settled on Glasgow as the best location for CEERE, and the city's own sustainable energy ambitions also make it a very appropriate choice. Working with the University of Strathclyde, and with the support of the Scottish Government, we will create and secure several hundred skilled jobs for Scotland.

"Scotland's ambition to become a leader in renewable energy is well known and we are delighted to be making this investment in Scotland. We're very positive about the prospects for creating new jobs to harness Europe's renewable energy resources and the potential make a significant contribution to the achievement of Scotland's ambitions."

Professor Jim McDonald, Principal of the University of Strathclyde said: "If we are to address the challenges of climate change, rapid and widespread deployment of renewable energy technologies is critical. This new partnership reflects Scotland's potential to be at the forefront of the UK and European renewable energy sectors, creating new jobs and research and development opportunities.

"Enhancing Strathclyde's strong and successful links with industry is a key part of our strategic mission and today's news reflects the positive impact these partnerships have on the wider economy.

"We are delighted Scottish and Southern Energy have chosen Glasgow as the home of their Centre of Excellence and we look forward to working closely with them as it moves from strength to strength."

Posted 07/10/09

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