North East renewable energy firm Banks Renewables has the wind in its sails after reaching a major business landmark.
The County Durham headquartered company, which is the renewable energy division of regional property and energy business the Banks Group, has erected its 50th onshore wind turbine after work was completed on the first of the 15 turbines that will make up the Middle Muir wind farm in South Lanarkshire.
Banks Renewables constructed its first onshore wind farm – the 12-turbine West Durham wind farm near Tow Law – in 2008, and has gone on to build and commission a further eight similar schemes across the north of England.
Two of these have also been in Banks’ native North East, with the Lambs Hill wind farm near Stockton coming online last year and the Moor House scheme near Darlington starting to generate green electricity earlier this year.
The Middle Muir wind farm is scheduled to be fully operational by early 2019, while a further five onshore wind farms in Scotland are at different stages of the planning and development process.
The 50 completed turbines have a combined generating capacity of 113MW, while Banks Renewables has secured planning consent for well over 100 turbines in total.
Almost £110,000 is already being generated in total every year for the benefits funds linked to each of the wind farms, which use revenues from the schemes to provide financial support for community projects and good causes in their respective areas and which will each run for the full length of the projects’ lifespans.
Richard Dunkley, managing director at Banks Renewables, says: “When Banks Renewables was established, it was with the goal of becoming one of the UK’s leading owner/operators in the onshore wind farm sector and reaching this landmark shows just how far we’ve come in achieving this objective.
“The money generated by our wind farms is making a big difference to the facilities and activities that people living near them are able to access, and will continue to do so through their entire lifespans.
“Onshore wind is recognised as being the most effective technology in delivering carbon reduction targets for the UK at the lowest cost for the consumer, and has a key role to play in generating more of the energy that we all use in powering our homes, businesses, schools and hospitals via renewable means.
“As a long-standing County Durham business, we’re especially proud to see clean green electricity being generated at the three wind farms we’ve built within our home region, and are continuing to move projects forward which will further enhance our presence in this sector.”
Please see Middle Muir wind farm project pages for more information.
The need for electricity generating capacity in the UK: The “energy crunch”
According to research by Bircham Dyson Bell, published in February 2016, the UK faces a “looming energy crunch”, with almost 25GW of generating capacity due to close by 2030. With 18 major UK power stations closing since 2012, capacity has dropped 15GW to around 86GW. With 7GW set to drop by 2020 and another 18GW by 2030. See: https://utilityweek.co.uk/energy-crunch-looming-with-25gw-to-close-by-2030/