June 24, 2013 | Community News
Respected renewable energy experts headquartered near Castle Douglas have been appointed as lead consultant on a project in their own back yard.
Natural Power was established in 1996, employs nearly 300 people and is recognised as one of the leading independent experts in delivering renewable energy projects for clients.
The company has been appointed by Banks Renewables, as we hope to establish up to 10 turbines at Knockendurrick, north west of Twynholm, as part of an innovative community partnership with local people.
Colin Anderson, development director at Banks Renewables, said: “If we earn approval to build this windfarm through careful consideration of all local concerns we will be in partnership with the local community for the next 25 years through the expected life of the project.
“That is why we want the project to be a joint venture with the local community, to bring tangible, long-term benefits to the area, such as job creation, training schemes and valuable, worthwhile local projects.
“The fact that we are able to start this journey by appointing such an important local employer to help us with that is a very pleasing bonus indeed.”
Earlier this year engineers at Natural Power were appointed to carry out the detailed feasibility study of the 1200 acre site to assess its suitability for a wind farm. Natural Power is renowned for sympathetically balancing the requirements of local people and the environment with the need to provide new renewable energy infrastructure.
Now the company’s Planning & Development Services Team have won the contract to help deliver the required assessments to take the proposed project through the stringent consenting process that will hinge on local stakeholders and environmental considerations.
Lasting at least six months, the process will see Natural Power input into a range of issues, including ecology reports, landscape architecture, road and traffic implications and archaeology.
The project will be led by senior project development manager Emily Peaston, a former pupil of Douglas Ewart High School in Newton Stewart who has been working on wind energy projects for the past eight years.
She said: “Across our multi-disciplinary departments at Natural Power we have worked with Banks Renewables on several other projects across the UK.
“Knockendurrick is very much our own back yard and gives us an opportunity to demonstrate to local people the principles we believe in. Our aim is always to try and deliver projects that we think are credible, well-designed and environmentally sound.
“We have already assisted Banks Renewables with a series of public exhibitions in March where they outlined their partnership proposals. This could see the local community take a stake in the wind farm and decide on exactly where to invest the income to benefit local people and businesses.”
We have already submitted a scoping report to Dumfries and Galloway Council. It includes information on the background and initial design of the scheme as well as details on how the project could progress to meet the expectations of planners and environmental regulators and local communities.
Colin Anderson added: “It’s been very pleasing to see the recent positive feedback we’ve received to the ongoing development of this scheme from a significant number of local people, and we will continue to work with the local communities surrounding the site as we move onto the next step of the development process.”
We have extensive experience of working with communities across Scotland to successfully design and deliver major energy and property and regeneration schemes; making a positive impact on the environment, the economy and the lives of local people.
Similar projects by the firm have resulted in the creation of jobs and training initiatives, provision of community infrastructure, delivery of major environmental projects and direct funding into community groups.
Knockendurrick has the potential to accommodate up to 10 turbines, with a capacity of up to 34MW.