Members of the community will have an opportunity to work with wind farm developers Banks Renewables to shape plans for its Lethans Extension wind farm in East Ayrshire, at an online consultation event.
Two consultations for Lethans Wind Farm Extension, less than 10km north-east of New Cumnock, will take place online to ensure communities can have their say in the design of the wind farm and to agree priorities for how the proposed wind farm community fund would support local community projects.
The online consultations will take place at 7pm on the Wednesday 2nd and 3rd Thursday of June 2021, and will be accessible by registering attendance at: https://www.banksgroup.co.uk/projects/renewables/lethans-extension/
People can give also their feedback via email, website, phone and post too.
The 11-turbine wind farm extension has the potential to create and support local jobs, work with local firms, and deliver a community benefit fund of over £9m over its lifespan – while displacing more than 30,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.
Robin Winstanley, sustainability and external affairs manager at Banks Renewables, said: “Our development with care approach means we actively seek the opinions and feedback of local people and try to work with them to shape the project to ensure it delivers the maximum possible benefits to local people.
“Both Lethans and Lethans Extension will create a positive and long-lasting legacy for East Ayrshire, creating jobs and infrastructure improvements which will benefit the local communities for decades to come.
“We’re keen to hear the views of the local communities so we can establish the best way to work together to benefit East Ayrshire in the long term, while bringing Scotland’s Net Zero ambitions closer to reality.”
With a potential generating capacity of more than 50MW, enough to provide over 36,000 homes, or over 87,000 people, with clean green electricity every year – more than all the homes and people in Paisley – Lethans Extension will have a lifespan of up to 35 years.
At its current nearby wind farms Middle Muir and Kype Muir, Banks has already established partnerships with local community groups and the local authority to ensure a significant positive socio-economic impact.
Among the benefits Lethans Wind Farm will deliver includes an investment of over £7m into a local community benefit fund, in addition to over £7m to East Ayrshire Council’s Renewable Energy Fund (REF).
The proposed extension would have the same National Grid connection as Banks’ existing Lethans Wind Farm, a development of 22 turbines.
At Lethans and Lethans Extension it is expected that in the construction phase over £40m will go to Scottish contractors. Also, a £1.3m skills and training fund for the first five years could support over 400 local unemployed people get into work and training. Both projects combined will invest over £100 million in the local area through their lifetime, creating jobs and leaving a lasting legacy.
Banks’ Lethans Wind Farm was given the green light ahead in October 2020, after plans were revised to maximise the supply of green electricity.
Banks will use its experience and knowledge of the onshore wind sector industry to deliver a wind farm that is sympathetic to the local landscape and as efficient as possible – while also delivering tangible and lasting socio-economic benefits to the communities in which it operates.