Proposals to significantly improve the efficiency of a South Lanarkshire wind farm – Banks Renewables’ Kype Muir Extension Wind Farm – have moved one step closer to reality after planning members at the local planning authority unanimously passed the application to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit without objection.
Banks Renewables’ plans to optimise the efficiency of its Kype Muir Extension Wind Farm were not objected to by South Lanarkshire Council’s planning committee in January 2019. The proposal will now go to the Energy Consents Unit for final approval.
The Kype Muir Extension wind farm project consists of 15 turbines. Jeannie Kielty, Community Relations Manager at Banks Renewables, said: “We were granted planning permission for our Kype Muir Extension Wind Farm back in January 2017.
“Our amended plans, which South Lanarkshire Council planning committee considered in January, will allow us to install the absolute latest turbine technology available and will make the project one of the most efficient in the UK.
“Optimising the efficiency of the turbines in this way means that the site stands the best possible chance of being delivered adding to Scotland’s renewable energy generating power and delivering an important social, environmental and economic boost to the South Lanarkshire area.
The construction of Banks Renewables’ neighbouring Kype Muir Wind Farm is likely to be completed in the next month or so, which will result in the Kype Muir Community Fund becoming available for local groups. The community fund, which will support local groups and projects, for both Kype Muir and Kype Muir Extension, over their lifetimes, will total well over £15m.
Jeannie added: “If this even more efficient version of the Kype Muir Extension Wind Farm project gets approved, and then built, we will be able to increase the positive social, economic and environmental impact for the area surrounding the project.”
Banks Renewables launched its Connect2Renewables (C2R) Charter in 2014, with the support of local communities and the Council in South Lanarkshire. The Charter sets out an initiative aimed at maximising the local social and economic benefits resulting from the firm’s wind farms in South Lanarkshire – including, of course, its Kype Muir Extension Wind Farm.
As part of this initiative and in partnership with the local communities and South Lanarkshire Council the C2R employability initiative has been established. The aim of the initiative is to help local unemployed people overcome real and perceived barriers to work, training or education. It will provide a flexible and responsive employability programme to meet needs of employers and individuals.
It will also help up-skill or re-skill local unemployed people to help them gain key transferrable skills in an increasingly competitive labour market and importantly can provide support where none may exist.