Local firm benefits from wind farm Banks Renewables “go-local” commitment

August 18, 2014 | Community News

A local renewable energy firm is celebrating after extending its partnership with a wind energy company.

Natural Power, based near Castle Douglas, will continue as lead consultant for Banks Renewables, which is waiting on a decision from Dumfries & Galloway Council on its planning application for the seven turbine, 23.8MW Knockendurrick Community Partnership Wind Farm project, located between Twynholm and Gatehouse of Fleet.

The industry leading team at Natural Power have carried out feasibility studies, producing reports on aspects such as ecology, landscape architecture, archaeology and traffic implications.

They will now carry on this essential work, helping Banks Renewables to deliver the assessments required to fully satisfy the stringent planning process.

Emily Peatson, a former pupil of Douglas Ewart High School in Newton Stewart has been leading on the project in her role as project development manager at Natural Power.

She said: “Banks Renewables is a highly valued client to Natural Power.

“We have provided an array of services to Banks throughout the UK and Knockendurrick has been a particularly rewarding project as it is in such close proximity to our Global Headquarters in Dumfries and Galloway; allowing us to demonstrate our expertise within our own local community.”

Natural Power was established in 1996 and employs nearly 300 people and is recognised as one of the leading independent experts in supporting the delivery of renewable energy projects.

The company provides technical, planning and development, ecology, hydrology, construction, geotechnical, asset management and due diligence services to the renewable energy market.

They provide a service that offers consultancy throughout the full life cycle of renewable energy projects, taking into consideration the clients, the local community and also the environment, respectively, to ensure optimum results are achieved for all parties.

The partnership with Natural Power demonstrates Banks Renewables’ commitment to using local firms wherever possible on its projects. It’s estimated that construction work on the Knockendurrick site would inject upwards of £5 million into the local economy, while also creating immediate and longer term job opportunities in the area.

Contracts would be required for construction and maintenance, ground works, quarry and building products, plant hire and haulage, waste solutions, fencing, fabrication, accommodation, aggregates, utilities, professional services, hospitality and many more services.

Colin Anderson, development director at Banks Renewables, said: “Our partnership with Natural Power has been very successful to date and this further commitment to use them on the next stage of the project reinforces both their local expertise and our commitment to supporting good local firms whenever we can.

“This partnership will further support the communities own priorities; it will support Dumfries and Galloway’s Tourism Strategy and the local businesses involved in this vital industry; and it will help give more young people a chance to get into long term employment locally.

“If we earn approval to build this wind farm, it will be because we have shown we have fully considered and responded to feedback from locals. This has helped to shape plans which will deliver many and varied long term local benefits over the 25 year life of the project.”

Banks Renewables’ Community Partnership proposal on Knockendurrick would see local people secure 3% of the site’s gross revenues, underwritten by a guaranteed minimum of £119,000 per year over the 25 years of the project; as well as the benefit of a 5% Community Equity Option.

Full details about the Knockendurrick Wind Farm can be found at the dedicated website, http://www.banksgroup.co.uk/knockendurrick/

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