January 24, 2013 | Community News
Banks Renewables is embarking on a wind farm project in Dumfries and Galloway which has community partnership at its heart.
We have a proven track record of working hand-in-hand with local communities to deliver many successful projects. Our development with care policy involves “cradle-to-grave” joint working with local community groups to progress the design, build and operation of projects.
The proposal for up to 10 turbines at Knockendurrick, 5km north-west of Twynholm, could generate enough energy to meet the annual needs of 19,000 homes. As part of our preliminary survey work, a planning application for a wind mast to measure wind speeds has recently been lodged.
The joint working process will engage with the communities which surround the wind farm, including Borgue, Castle Douglas, Gatehouse of Fleet, Kelton, Kirkcudbright, Tongland and Twynholm.
Our team has embarked on the first series of meetings with these communities, to gauge interest in the idea of a community wind farm partnership. Such a partnership would see communities earn a share of wind farm revenues, with an option to buy equity.
Youth groups, charities and voluntary organisations are among those who could gain from such a partnership. The main objective is to ensure local communities see tangible, long-term benefits from their local wind farm.
Similar projects by us have resulted in job creation and training initiatives, provision of community infrastructure, delivery of major environmental projects and direct funding into community groups.
Colin Anderson, director at Banks Renewables said: “Our development with care approach is central to everything we do. That means working closely with and consulting local communities at every stage to keep them informed about the plans.
“If we earn permission to build this wind farm, we’ll be part of this community for the next 25 years at least, so we will be striving to make sure we deliver a lasting and positive legacy for the area.
“However, we are at the very beginning of the process and our objective is to get feedback from the communities on our partnership proposal. We would be delighted if the communities around Knockendurrick take up our offer of partnership working and are prepared to get directly involved in shaping their communities for the better.”
The wind farm would create up to 34 MW of energy and would displace 58,000 tonnes of CO2 annually from the atmosphere that would otherwise be released if the electricity was generated using fossil fuels.
Power generated by wind farms will help Scotland continue to enjoy the constant, reliable energy supply modern life demands – and such wind farms have already reduced the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels imported from unstable overseas markets.
As well as supporting the Scottish Government’s drive towards producing all of the energy consumed in the country through renewable means, the Knockendurrick project could bring a range of other economic and community benefits on top of the community benefits package.
We have extensive experience of working in partnership with local communities across Scotland to successfully design and develop new energy schemes and deliver a range of local economic, social and environmental benefits.