A community group has praised a renewable firm for its “impressive new site” after visiting its location.
The chairman of the Kype Muir Community Partnership (KMCP) has praised Banks Renewables after visiting the site of its Kype Muir wind farm which is currently under construction.
Created to ensure that local people are kept involved throughout the construction and operation of the new wind farm, once operational the KMCP will be responsible for agreeing how the community fund of at least £221,000 each year is allocated to local community groups and projects.
Hamilton-based Banks Renewables helped create the group to ensure communities local to its Kype Muir wind farm play a pivotal role in its development.
George Smith, chair of the Stonehouse Community Council and the elected chair of the KMCP, said: “From the very start, Banks Renewables has been very open and transparent with the local community and their team’s willingness to accommodate us on the impressive new site is further evidence of this.
“This transparency has allowed Banks to create a very strong relationship with the KMCP – and this site visit helps strengthen this.
“It was great to see first-hand how it is all coming together at the terrific new site. I was impressed by how much has been done in such a short space of time. The actual bases of the wind turbines are already there so it’s moving really quickly.
“The health and safety brief they provided and the mini bus tour was really impressive.
“It’s also great that Banks always give us advanced notice when they bring components through local areas so we can make sure everything runs smoothly.”
The Kype Muir wind farm, is located just south of Strathaven. To develop and manage this new wind farm, Banks Renewables, is working in partnership with the local community. The local community will have a share of the wind farms revenues which is underwritten by a guaranteed minimum of £5,000 per MW per year (£442,000), adding up to a total of £11.53 million over the 25 year life span of the wind farm. The wind farm will contribute half of this community fund to South Lanarkshire Renewable Energy Fund (REF) with the other half of the community fund allocated by the KMCP to benefit the area.
For the first five years of operation of the Kype Muir wind farm, both the REF and KMCP will support the Connect2Renewables employability scheme that will help local unemployed people break down the barriers faced to get into workplace training and employment.
Jeannie Kielty, Community Relations Manager at The Banks Group said: “The KMCP visit provides a fantastic example of how we can ensure everyone is kept involved at every stage of the project.
“It is important to make sure that local people can raise any matters and ask questions about the wind farm to the project team and what better way than to actually invite them to the site.
“In addition to generating significant amounts of renewable energy, Kype Muir Wind Farm will bring a range of other benefits to the local area, from new jobs and commercial opportunities for local businesses through to funding for a range of local community improvements and skills development initiatives. Our whole approach is very much about working together with the local community, so, together, we can deliver a wide range of benefits to the local area. In working together in this way, and having the KMCP as a forum for discussion, the local community will be kept informed of the project’s progress.”
The KMCP is comprised of representatives from Stonehouse, Strathaven & Glassford, Sanford & Upper Avondale and Lesmahagow Community Councils along with other members of the community.
Construction works, including turbine erection, and connecting the wind farm to the National Grid, will be completed by early 2019.
For further general information on about Banks Renewables’ Kype Muir wind farm, please see: http://www.banksgroup.co.uk/kype-muir/