A Grand Day at Gaia-Wind
March 21, 2011
ON Monday, 7 March, we had our “Grand Opening” for our new small wind turbine Manufacturing, Design and Distribution Hub. We had a huge turnout of our friends in the industry, customers and supporters. In addition we were very pleased and proud to welcome all four of our MSPs, (Member of Scottish Parliament) and the CEO of Scottish Enterprise, Lena Wilson. I must just plug SE and Scottish Development International here – they have been very supportive and we do thank them for their efforts on our behalf.
We aim to integrate of all aspects of the process from R&D, design engineering, production and testing, as well as global distribution and supply chain management. Alistair McKinnon, from TUV Nel who certified our Gaia-Wind small wind 113-11Kw turbine for MCS, commented that this new facility is the biggest small wind turbine factory he has seen (and he has seen many of them) and also that it is the most organised/ professional facility he has seen.
It was great that the Scottish Enterprise and Energy Minister Jim Mather was also able to find time in his extremely full diary to come and formally start us off. But I think he found it a really worthwhile exercise. He stressed the importance of what he called “single installation turbines” and I think was maybe even a little surprised by the efficiency, scale and ambition of our operation. In particular he was very supportive of the need for the DECC Feed in Tariff (FIT) review to support small wind as an important element in the mix.
In this context we are looking hard at issues around FIT, Planning and Certification. The recent proposals to reduce the financial support available to larger scale solar-produced electricity are a step in the right direction. However, not just Gaia-Wind but the whole small wind sector wants to see a FIT scheme review that enables our industry to grow over an extended period of time and delivers security for our customers. We urgently need clearer guidelines for planning authorities, and we are looking for a message from Ministers that they will maintain the MCS for small wind systems and require the same level of independent testing and certification to medium wind systems.
Our company is now really entering the next phase in Gaia-Wind’s story where we are aiming to become the leader in our market segment. We are off to a fantastic start: The plant is up and running in record time and we are currently producing four small wind turbines per week. We want to be producing more than twice that many by the end of the year. With our state of the art facility, the support of our customers and an ever improving supply chain we are well set to achieve our ambitions.
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