IT began life 30 years ago as the brainchild of disillusioned nuclear power engineer and yesterday established its first business arm in the US.

Proven Energy, a small wind-turbine manufacturer based in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, which has set up a new base in Chicago, exemplifies the Glasgow renewables boom. It has 80 employees, an annual turnover of £10 million and international clout.

Its turbines are approximately 65ft high by 28ft wide – around one-tenth of the size of a windfarm turbine – and generate up to 15kw of electricity. “That’s enough to run between two and four households,” said chief executive Paul Aston. “It’s the sort of thing you would install on a farm.

“We’ve somewhere north of 3500 turbines running worldwide, and we have them on every continent, including Antarctica. We’re a comparatively small business but punch above our weight.”

The company takes its name from founder, Gordon Proven, who made the leap from nuclear energy in 1980.

He added: “Gordon had a fairly major falling out of love with the nuclear energy, moved across and built his own wind turbine. Then he built turbines for his friends and the rest, as they say, is history.”

Mr Aston believes Glasgow is poised to lead the way for the industry. He said: “From the small wind point of view, Glasgow absolutely deserves the super city title. From the big wind point of view and renewables in general, that’s the way it’s going.”