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New £33m renewable energy project in Scotland could have global significance

Nicola Sturgeon visited Aggreko’s plant to find out about the Future Technology renewable energy programme, which aims to cut bills worldwide

The next generation of power technology will be developed in Scotland – with the ultimate aim of reducing the cost of energy for communities and industries around the world.

Aggreko, the global provider of modular, mobile power based in Glasgow, has announced a new £33m innovation programme that will shake up its renewables offering.

The three-year Future Technology initiative has a particular focus on solar-diesel hybrid solutions and energy storage, more efficient engine technology and the introduction of waste heat recovery.

To mark the project’s announcement today (Wednesday 4 April), Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited the company’s manufacturing and technology plant at Lomondgate, Dumbarton, to find out more about the work.

The firm has received a £1.5m grant from business growth body Scottish Enterprise to fund the renewable energy programme, which will create 23 highly-skilled research and development jobs at the factory.

Renewable energy, technology, Nicola Sturgeon, Aggreko
Aggreko CEO Chris Weston, left, with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, centre, and Scottish Enterprise managing director Linda Hanna at the Aggreko plant following the announcement of the company’s £33m Future Technology initiative

Aggreko CEO Chris Weston said: “Power generation and energy markets are going through a fundamental change and businesses, organisations and governments across the globe are having to respond rapidly to this changing energy landscape.

“With an increasingly decentralised energy system and the urgent need for cleaner fuels, which require integration and control, it is necessary that companies innovate and invest.

“The Scottish Government has identified the need for a low-carbon economy and increased innovation as a top priority.

“We are delighted with the support Scottish Enterprise has shown by contributing funding towards our Future Technology initiative.”

Nicola Sturgeon, Aggreko, renewable energy
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is shown around Aggreko’s manufacturing and technology plant at Lomondgate, Dumbarton, following the announcement of the company’s £33m Future Technology initiative

Bigger emphasis on renewable energy

The initiative will cover 15 individual projects, covering three key technology areas:

  1. Delivering a greater proportion of renewables and more sustainable power: Expansion of the company’s solar-diesel hybrid plant and energy storage offerings.
  2. Investing in control systems and automation to improve efficiency: Development of advanced new control systems to allow integration of renewables and battery storage technology.
  3. Improve engine efficiency: Through the development of more efficient diesel and gas fuel solutions, which will allow our existing technology to efficiently use propane and other types of gas.
Nicola Sturgeon, Aggreko, renewable energy
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is shown around Aggreko’s manufacturing and technology plant at Lomondgate, Dumbarton, following the announcement of the company’s £33m Future Technology initiative

Constructed specifically for Aggreko in 2012, the Lomondgate plant employs over 240 people.

The products manufactured are deployed all over the world, including remote villages in the Amazon and gold mines in Western Australia.

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New Energy Strategy for Scotland

Mrs Sturgeon said: “With 23 highly-skilled jobs being created in Dumbarton and significant investment by the company, it is hugely encouraging that Aggreko regards Scotland as the perfect place for them to grow their business.

“As our new Energy Strategy sets out, it is crucial that we find new ways to ensure energy is produced efficiently, and integrates renewable and low carbon technology – as is the case with these developments by Aggreko.”

Scottish Enterprise managing director Linda Hanna added: “Aggreko is already a world leader in providing temporary power systems, but it is its forward-thinking, innovative approach which will keep them there.

Nicola Sturgeon, Aggreko, renewable energy
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is shown around Aggreko’s manufacturing and technology plant at Lomondgate, Dumbarton, following the announcement of the company’s £33m Future Technology initiative

“The company has identified three early stage, highly innovative projects which have the potential to deliver significant competitive advantage.

“By bringing our support to these projects we can help Aggreko maximise its innovation, continue to anchor itself in Scotland and further increase Scotland’s reputation as a global energy hub.

“I wish Aggreko every success with its ambitious plans and look forward to continuing to work together to deliver its full growth potential.”