Banks Renewables secures £16m funding package from Co-operative bank for Armistead wind farm

March 14, 2012 | Armistead News

Banks Renewables, part of the Banks Group, has successfully completed a £16m funding agreement with The Co-operative Bank to fund the construction of its first wind farm in Cumbria. 

Work on the Armistead Wind Farm is set to begin shortly after Durham-based Banks strengthened its ongoing relationship with The Co-operative Bank, which previously provided the financial backing for the firm’s Marr and Hazlehead wind farms in Yorkshire.

The six-turbine Armistead scheme will be located on land near the village of Old Hutton in south Cumbria, to the east of the M6 between junctions 36 and 37, and will have an installed capacity of 12.3MW, which is enough to meet the annual electricity consumption requirements of approximately 6,800 homes.

The wind farm will also mean that the release of around 13,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year that would result from generating the same amount of energy by non-renewable means is avoided. 

The turbines, which are being supplied by industry-leading manufacturer REpower, will be delivered to the site in the autumn, with connection to the local grid expected to be finished before the end of the year. 

New jobs, commercial opportunities for local firms and a community benefits fund worth over £300,000 across the 25-year lifespan of the wind farm will all follow on from the start of work on the site. 

Legal advice on the deal was provided to Banks Renewables by Bond Pearce and Brodies LLP, with Gallagher Heath and Natural Power also acting on the company’s behalf.

Neil Brown, group commercial director at the Banks Group, says: “Starting work on this scheme gives further strength to Banks’ position as one of the UK’s leading owner/operators of onshore wind farms, and we are confident that other sites from our portfolio of developing wind schemes across the north of England and Scotland will be moving forward in the near future. 

“Utilising onshore wind farms like Armistead to update the UK’s power infrastructure today is already helping to address the energy challenges that we know the 21st century will bring, and we’re very pleased that The Co-operative Bank is once again backing both our robust business model and our planning expertise in realising wind farm proposals.” 

James Sutcliffe, senior manager at The Co-operative Bank, adds: “We’re extremely pleased to be increasing our support for Banks Renewables and to be helping its ambitious strategy to develop more renewable energy schemes.

“We believe medium scale renewables projects such as these can make a significant contribution to the country’s future energy mix and help with the required transition to a low carbon economy, whilst bringing significant benefits to the local community at the same time.” 

Sebastian Briggs, client partner and energy sector specialist at Bond Pearce: “We are delighted to have helped Banks Renewables to reach financial close on this transaction. 

“In a period of some regulatory uncertainty in the sector, it is very encouraging that leading project developers are able to secure financing and commit to the construction of new projects to help the UK to meet its future energy demands in a sustainable way.”

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