Local lad ‘soars’ to new career heights

August 26, 2014 | Community News

A Dumfries environmentalist has been appointed to his dream job as project manager for a wind energy specialist.

Finley Becks-Phelps, 27, recently landed the role with Banks Renewables and is “thrilled” to be overseeing the development work across a multitude of wind farms currently being developed by the renewable energy firm.

With Banks Renewables proposed Knockendurrick wind farm only a stone’s throw away from his beloved hometown, the Glasgow University graduate is looking forward to speaking to his local community about the potential benefits of the project.

The Hamilton-based company submitted plans for the seven turbine, 23.8MW wind farm, between Twynholm and Gatehouse of Fleet, to Dumfries & Galloway Council in October 2013.

Finley has always been a supporter of environmental causes and believes renewable energy initiatives such as wind farms are essential to the future, but also offer a number of opportunities and benefits to the local communities.

He said: “I’m a passionate environmentalist and believe renewable energy is important to our future, but there are also a number potential advantages at a local level that many people are not aware of and I hope to raise awareness of these in and around Dumfries.

“If you look past the physical aspect of a wind farm, what you have is a development that can bring communities together.

“By maximising benefits such as job creation, business contracting opportunities and sponsorship of local community and environmental projects it can improve the quality of life in the area as well as create a sense of community spirit.”

Banks Renewables is committed to using local firms wherever possible as part of the project, with estimations that construction work on the site would inject around £5 million into the local economy, while also creating meaningful 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.

Finley has been impressed by Banks Renewables approach with the community, and his real passion for the role comes from his life-long interest in helping environmental related topics.

Having grown up in such a fantastic part of the world with a passion for nature and the outdoors, he proceeded to turn his hobby into a career – graduating from Glasgow University with a Masters degree in Global Water Sustainability.

Securing his place in the Dumfries and Galloway Council graduate scheme, he kick-started his career in the renewables and environmental sector at Crichton Carbon Centre. This has allowed him to progress up the career ladder via respected Castle Douglas based firm Natural Power and now to leading developer Banks Renewables.

He added: “Renewable energy is an exciting industry to be a part of, and it’s also rewarding in the sense that you are doing your bit to help the environment. It would be fantastic to see other young people getting involved with future projects and taking an interest as to how the wind farms are run.”

In addition to its push for local business partnerships, Banks Renewables also has a Community Partnership initiative, which would see local people share 3% of the site’s gross revenue, which could be worth more than £2.9 million over the 25 years of the development.

Colin Anderson, director at Banks Renewables, said: “In Finley we have someone who is hugely passionate about the environment and his local community, which is a perfect match for Banks Renewables, and we are therefore delighted to have him on-board.”

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

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