How many people does the Banks Group employ?+
The Banks Group employ over 200 people across its renewables, infrastructure and property businesses, including the renewables team based in our Hamilton office.
Who owns the Banks Group?+
The Banks Group is a family owned, County Durham based business, employing 250 people across the north of England and Scotland. It was established in 1976.
What happens during a consultation?+
The consultation process was designed to take in as wide a range of views as possible and to collaborate with local stakeholders on key issues such as the masterplan of the site and the development of the community benefit proposal. Timelines were extended considerably so that this process could take place effectively with a broad set of consultation activity both face-to-face and digitally.
Why this location?+
South Lanarkshire has an excellent wind profile and onshore wind represents one of the best natural resources we have. This is an excellent site with great wind resource, transport links and a grid connection. National Policy identifies the majority of the Bodinglee site as an Area with Potential for Wind Energy Development (Group 3), which identifies land that is not located within national and internationally designated sites for ecology or landscape, and which is also sufficiently separated from local communities to minimise visual effects. Bodinglee will bring jobs, investment and growth to the local area as well as being the most affordable way of generating renewable energy today, which helps bring energy costs down and tackle climate change. Our approach at Banks is to develop these projects with care for people, the environment and to invest with local firms that support local jobs.
I’m concerned that Bodinglee is too close to Roberton, can’t you move it further away?+
Banks has significantly reduced the size of the project from its original scoping layout from 60 to 37 turbines. Turbines are now much further from Roberton, with around 3 Km of stand-off from the main village.
Why should communities in Scotland support wind farms?+
Onshore wind is the lowest cost renewable energy that can be generated in Scotland today. It’s one of our best and cleanest natural resources. This keeps household bills lower as well as providing a way of investing in communities so that they can take steps to improve the region they live in.
Our wind farm proposal will deliver approximately £52 Million community benefits when operational and invest around £460 millions into the regional area. We will take great care to develop these proposals to ensure that we maximise the social, economic and benefits for your local community, as well as making a real impact on Scotland’s energy security and our path to net-zero.
Will Bodinglee help Scotland achieve its target of 100% renewable electricity in 2030?+
We expect Bodinglee to have around 259MW of installed capacity, producing enough clean electricity each year to power a city the size of Dundee. This is a significant step forward for Scotland to hit its urgent net-zero climate goals.
I’m concerned at how many turbines there are in this proposal, Can you reduce the total number?+
Bodinglee has been reduced from 60 to 37 turbines since the initial design following an iterative process involving feedback from the community and other key stakeholders.
Why are turbines getting taller?+
This site shows that a yield assessment for high-efficiency turbines can deliver a significant output with a relatively small number of turbines. Higher tip heights deliver higher efficiencies, displace more carbon and deliver higher community benefit funding.
How visible are the turbines, and have you done anything to reduce this?+
We appreciate that a wind farm of this scale will invariably have significant visual effects as a result of their form and locational requirements. Landscape and visual impact assessment work has been used to gain an understanding of the visibility and character of the site in order to reach an acceptable layout. A full detailed assessment will be included as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment.
Several assessments have taken place to determine the most effective design that carefully reduces the visual impact of turbines from the local community and key viewpoints. This feedback has come from a range of sources from either the community or consultees such as Historic Environment Scotland. Iterations of the design minimised visual impact by changing the layout, reducing number of turbines and reducing tip heights of certain turbines. The final design proposal will be 37 turbines from 60 in the scoping report.
Can you see the wind farm from nearby villages?+
We have created a 3D model of the proposal so members of the public can view the site from their property. This will give a sense of the how the site will sit in the landscape in relation to you.
Will I experience any noise or shadow flicker from Bodinglee?+
Bodinglee has been designed to avoid any impacts due to noise and shadow flicker and as a result we are not expecting any significant effects of this kind following extensive assessments of the design. Wind farms are obligated to undertake assessments which would identify any impact on properties above the established legal threshold. Any issues which do arise will be addressed within these legal obligations and we will respond to community concerns accordingly.
What about aviation, will there be any lighting on the turbines?+
A detailed aviation impact assessment will be undertaken with the final layout and we will work with aviation stakeholders to agree a mitigation strategy if required. As the turbines are over 150m they will need to be lit in a way that ensures they are seen by aircrafts, but which also minimises the visibility of lights from ground level. As part of the planning application, night time visualisations from key locations will be included so that the visual effects are understood.
Is this electricity going to be used by local people only? We have turbines nearby, can we keep the energy?+
Bodinglee will be connected to the National Grid distribution network via a local substation. However, because onshore wind is one of the cheapest forms of energy generation, greater deployment should lead to lower overall bills.
Our ‘Development with care’ approach will ensure that local communities benefit from the project directly as a result of the significant new investment in the local area and the community benefit fund associated with the project, which we expect to be around £52 million over the lifetime of the project.
Will Bodinglee electricity be sold on a private wire?+
There are currently no plans for a private wire connection.
How will the electricity generated connect into the Grid?+
Bodinglee will be connected to the National Grid distribution network via underground cabling to the nearby Redshaw substation. This substation is pre-existing planned upgrade to grid infrastructure and is expected to be completed ahead of Bodinglee finishing construction.
From here, electricity generated at Bodinglee will join the existing overhead grid network. The routing of the connection to local Grid Supply Points will be given consideration for both overhead line and underground connection. As much information as possible on potential grid connection options will be included in the planning application for the wind farm.
Where will the steel for the towers sections be manufactured?+
The turbines will be procured through a separate third party turbine supplier which is yet to be confirmed, and will have their own targeted supply chain. Through our Connect2Renewables commitments we will prioritise suppliers which are based locally.
Who owns the land that the wind farm will be built on?+
Douglas & Angus Estates is the landowner for the wind farm. We have actively included the estate in consultation and shared community feedback with them to ensure the proposal has their input and support.
How will you get the turbines to the site?+
The turbines will be delivered from King V docks in Glasgow down the M74. The delivery of these turbines will be assessed and designed by an expert transport consultant to find the most efficient and safest route through any constrictive areas. In accordance with South Lanarkshire Council policy, to minimise disruption the delivery of larger components (like turbine blades) will be delivered at night, they will also be accompanied by a police Scotland escort to ensure safe transit.
Where is the construction access point for Bodinglee?+
Access to Bodinglee East will be via the A70 at a new access at Uddington. Bodinglee West will use the existing Kennoxhead access road
What about private water supplies and how they are affected?+
Bodinglee has been designed to avoid any impact on private water supplies, with appropriate hydrological assessments forming part of the environmental impact assessment. At this stage, there are is no impact on any private water supplies that has emerged from these assessments. As part of the site design process, we are working with the Environmental Health Officer and landowners to identify private water supplies within the potential zone of influence of the site. During the environmental impact assessment, any potential effects of the proposed wind farm on the identified private water supplies will be fully considered.
If we are successful through the planning process, we will undertake a baseline water quality assessment in advance of construction works beginning. We will test the surface and ground water on site and at outlet points, as well as requesting to sample any households identified from our design works. These results will be provided to the parties and the Environmental Health Officer. We will then continue monitoring through the construction period to keep on top of any non-standard deviations.
Will Bodinglee affect house prices?+
There is no direct evidence of wind farm development affecting house prices, and CCETco’s home energy improvements could increase the value for those who participate. The study showed that some form of intervention is possible with the benefit fund for the majority of the 6,500 houses within the community.
Will there be any effect on hang-gliding as a result of Bodinglee?+
The size of the Bodinglee site has been reduced significantly from 60 to 37 turbines, and this will significantly reduce any impact on hang-gliding in the area.
What about the construction disruption? Will there be access to the site during construction?+
During construction we will look to minimise disruption to communities in the direct vicinity of the site and along the main access routes. We will do this by minimising deliveries during peak times and, where possible, limiting intrusive on-site activities during the hours of darkness.
With all of the above we will work closely with the local community to minimise any impact. Examples of feedback that are useful for us include school bus timings, normal pick up points and information about local events such as hot air balloon shows, or firework displays where footfall and on street parking will be busier than normal. Access to the site will be limited during construction based on safety considerations, but we will work closely with the local community to determine an access approach that takes their views into consideration. A site-specific Construction Environmental Management Plan will be written and submitted to the planning authority for consideration.
Will Banks try to give as many contracts as possible to local companies during the wind farm’s construction and operation to ensure the local economy benefits?+
As part of our Connect2Renewables approach, we work together with local suppliers who will in turn employ local people to deliver their work during the construction and operation of the wind farm.
We have a commitment to ensure local contractors are included and given preference in tenders.
At this stage the construction phase is 3 years away and some local jobs will be needed then. On the nearby Kype Muir construction over 80% of the contracts were sourced locally. We expect Bodinglee to deliver around £470 million of investment in Scotland over it’s lifetime as a result of these commitments, with £460 million in the regional area (within 60km)
Today our Connect2Renewables initiative, a portion of the community benefit fund is used to support local people into employment. If there is support for this continuing with the Bodinglee development, we will look at how we might make that part of the planning application for this project.
Will Bodinglee bring new jobs and skills to the region?+
Based on the economic impact assessment of the site itself and the approach to use the community benefit funds for energy efficiency measures, Bodinglee is expected to deliver between 1,200 – 1,400 FTE job years in the region. Many of these will be through our approach to local supply chain investment called Connect2Renewables. In addition – around 51 jobs will be supported during the operation of Bodinglee.
How many people will Bodinglee employ during the development & construction phase?+
During the development & construction phase of the project, we expect Bodinglee to directly support around 621 job years in the regional area, based on an economic impact assessment prepared by Biggar Economics.
This same report also expects that a further 399 job years would be indirectly supported in the regional area due to the knock-on effect of Bodinglee in the regional economy and supply chain.
This amounts to an overall figure of 1,020 direct & indirect job years in the regional area.
How many people will Bodinglee employ when it is operational?+
The total number of staff is yet to be confirmed, however there are a number of additional trades and professionals who visit the site periodically as part of the ongoing operation and maintenance of the wind farm during its life cycle. Other opportunities will exist in habitat management and maintaining the landscape at Bodinglee. An economic impact assessment of Bodinglee wind farm estimates that, in total, the project could support around 51 ongoing jobs in the regional area.
How much will Bodinglee generate in terms of community funds per year?+
Our Bodinglee project represents a big opportunity to deliver transformational, positive local change. We are committing to a community benefit fund of £5,000/MW, which we anticipate resulting in a total fund of approximately £1.3 million/year
Our proposal also includes a shared ownership offer for the community to take advantage of: 1% of the equity in the project will be offered for free to a community body and a further 9% at market value. An enhanced community benefit payment will be offered to the community if they decide not to take up the shared ownership offer.
Can the community influence how the community benefit fund works?+
Based on extensive consultation with the community and others with an interest in the project, our current proposal is to focus the community benefit fund on delivering energy efficiency improvements to households nearby the project. This includes forming a community body which will agree on how to invest the funds to lower household bills and reduce their carbon footprint most effectively.
What is the biggest issue that communities have raised in the consultation so far?+
The biggest topic discussed by your community was about understanding the opportunity to help local households directly with their home heating and energy efficiency. We’ve heard repeatedly that local people are struggling with high heating and energy bills due to poorly insulated homes, old and inefficient heating systems and a reliance on fuels which have skyrocketed in price in recent times. With Bodinglee, we believe we have the opportunity to tackle this directly, in a way which will benefit individuals rather than organisations.
How has the community benefit fund been shaped?+
Banks pro-actively sought input on community needs and invited collaboration in designing a proposal which directly tackles local issues raised in the consultation. Proposals were developed collaboratively with the community for the Clydesdale Community Energy Transition Co (CCETco). The intention of this body is that it will directly fund local home energy efficiency improvements with community benefit funds and be led by a local community panel. The organisation will deliver local employment and contract locally, giving professional support to local people to reduce their energy bills and carbon footprint.
What are we proposing to do with the benefit funds?+
We propose that a new community body called Clydesdale Community Energy Transition Co (CCETCo) is created whose purpose will be to help local people have affordable, clean energy and a warmer home. It will provide a service to local residents to assess the energy efficiency of their house, organise installers and fund measures to help them achieve improvements. Once assessments have been carried out, the community body will bridge the gap between government funding and pay for improvements to homes on behalf of residents with the funds generated by the wind farm.
We have worked with experts at Natural Power to devise a series of route-maps to directly help the 6,500 households near the Bodinglee site with household bills while also reducing their carbon footprint. The reports clearly show that funding energy efficiency measures – ranging from insulation to new heat sources (like heat pumps and solar panels) – will give more back to community members through energy bill savings than the community benefit payments themselves. The average annual benefit payment from Bodinglee will be around £1.3M and the reports shows more than one scenario where energy bill savings could be double this amount annually.
These measures could also stop tens of thousands of tonnes of CO2 entering the atmosphere every year, helping local people to tackle climate change as well as save money.
Not only could this provide long term household bill savings and reduce household carbon footprints, but it could also provide opportunities for skills development and provide additional jobs in the local area.
How have you chosen the name of this body? How will it get funding?+
We will work with local communities to establish an organisation with a panel which can agree how the body will invest the benefit funds to deliver to these goals. Our current proposed name for this organisation is the Clydesdale Community Energy Transition Co. (CCETco). Further consultation with your community may result in another name being chosen.
We propose that the organisation will be funded by the community benefit payments from Bodinglee Wind Farm (around £52 million). We acknowledge that establishing this body requires a commitment from “you” to make this a reality, but could create wide benefits for the community.
In addition, we will gift a 1% share of the wind farm to the community body and offer a further 9% at market value. If the community does not wish to take up the ownership offer, then an enhanced benefit payment offer (above the £5,000 per MW) will be made to help fund the organisation to ensure its success.
What could the Clydesdale Community Energy Transition Co. deliver for your community?+
The purpose of the CCETco will be to respond to the key issues raised by the community over the last 12 months. The CCETco will make the homes in the community nearby the project warmer and more energy efficient by installing measures based on each household’s needs.
These measures will reduce household energy bills once installed and their carbon footprint. We estimate reductions in annual energy costs by £2.5-4.5 Million for these households with over 100,000 tonnes of CO2 being prevented from entering the atmosphere by reducing consumption of energy and replacing the energy sources where appropriate.
The CCETco will help local businesses get the skills they need for the future by using local contractors, employing local people and developing their skills. A core goal will be to help local businesses become leaders in the field of heat and low-carbon buildings.
We expect between 200-400 locally-based Full Time Job years could come from this investment within the region.
How can individuals expect to personally benefit from Bodinglee?+
Banks has recognised a recurring theme in local communities that individuals often do not feel a personal benefit from wind farms and are committed to designing Bodinglee’s community benefits in a way which addresses this. The purpose of the CCETco. will be to help local residents save money on energy and lower their carbon footprint at the same time. Evidence from the assessment Banks undertook shows this will in effect double the economic return from the community benefit payments for the local community with the residents being the beneficiaries.
How will the community have their say in how it works?+
The organisation will be able to set its own agenda to achieve its purpose with the community agreeing on how the community benefit funds can be invested. It will also be able to react to other needs defined by the community – if they see fit – such as direct payment to bills if the circumstances warrant. It may also act as a panel to advise on grants. We will help set-up the organisation and enable it to hire its first development manager. Funds will be made available for this from the community benefit fund and to deliver further pilot projects prior to commissioning.
The governance structure will place the local community as decision makers, with support from professional positions funded by the community benefit. With advisory positions for South Lanarkshire Council, local councillors, Banks Renewables, local businesses and experts in the area such as the Energy Saving Trust and Local Energy Scotland. Because the organisation will agree on priorities with a panel of local community councils, you will be able to have your say on how it is run. We believe that the ownership offer together with community-led governance will provide a long-term positive impact for the region.
Local volunteers don’t have time to invest in another community organisation, how will you support us?+
Banks has recognised this as a prevalent issue in rural communities and a commitment to employ professionals to help manage the fund to address the capacity to deliver benefits to the community. The CCETco will employ locally to address this need in collaboration with partners such as the local authority.
How can we be sure that our community council will be involved with the community benefit fund moving forward?+
We will work in partnership with the communities surrounding Bodinglee with the aim of achieving sustainable social, economic and environmental benefits for the local area. We have already been in discussions with local community councils and encourage people to get involved themselves.
Will the community own any part of Bodinglee?+
Banks have committed to offering shares equivalent to 1% of Bodinglee to the local community at no cost. In addition, the community will have the opportunity to buy a further 9% of the project at market rates. The CCETco organisation, which in itself will be community owned, will agree on how dividend payments through the community panel will be used. If the community chooses not to take up the offer of ownership, an enhanced community benefit payment (above £5,000/MW) will be made.
Will you support the local community to take ownership of community buildings? What about social enterprises?+
Banks will support a local community building being taken into public ownership/use (potentially as a social enterprise) with up to £200k available to be spent on a pilot project or several smaller ones. CCETco itself will effectively be a social enterprise.
What is the proposed pilot project?+
We propose starting with a pilot project funded by the Bodinglee Wind Farm, aimed at a community building to use as a test case to learn about the challenges of improving the historic buildings in the area. The study has identified both a higher-than-average number of older properties with poor heat performance, as well as a high number of households in fuel poverty. £200K has been earmarked for this project if Bodinglee is granted consent.
The Natural Power report has identified that through local contracting to deploy the measures around 200 full-time job-years can be created locally. This will nearly double the expected jobs created in South Lanarkshire as a result of the development of the wind farm itself. These will be in a sector that is of primary importance – not just now, but for the next few decades – given the demand for the installation of thermal efficiency measures and new heat sources such as heat pumps and solar panels as society moves to net-zero in an affordable way.
Will you build new community centres?+
There are no direct plans involving local community centres however there is scope to select a community centre as a beneficiary of the £200k community spaces pilot project and further pilot projects can be identified. We will consult further with the community to identify pilot projects which have community support and can deliver assets the community can use.
Are the figures for output you have been using based on nameplate capacity, average capacity or something else?+
The wind farm generation is based on the turbine nameplate capacity. Energy generation comes from a range of sources to provide a balance to the UKs energy needs. When wind energy output is lower, additional energy sources are relied upon and managed by the National Grid.
Where can I see the turbine layout?+
The finalised turbine layout has been shared and is available on our website. This design was iterated over a long period of time based on stakeholder feedback. The first layout was 60 turbines and the final proposal is 37 with a battery in combination.
What are the proposed blade lengths?+
Proposed rotor diameters are up to around 170m with blade lengths of up to 82.5m. Although larger than surrounding wind farms, these sizes are in line with proposed developments in the wider area. Increased rotor diameters also improve the efficiency of the energy output generation. Larger rotors deliver higher yields which in turn give more community benefits and displace more carbon from the grid network.
Are there any other forms of renewable/low carbon energy included in Bodinglee?+
We will be including 106 MW of battery storage onsite as part of the proposal.
What will the battery do?+
We are proposing a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) for the site which will directly support the wind farm’s ability to store the electricity it generates at times when production is higher than demand. Our current design includes up to a 106MW battery which will be located on the site itself.
The battery will:
- Store electricity from the site and the grid when demand is low
- Supply the grid with low cost electricity when demand is high
- Play a key role in helping Scotland deploy renewables by directly addressing the intermittency issue and helping balance the demand & supply of electricity
- Help reduce energy bills over the long term and provide a key part of Scotland’s journey to net-zero.
- The battery alone will displace around 20,000 tons of CO2 from the electricity grid annually, the equivalent of 12,000 cars being taken off the road every year.
Will there be a fund set up within Banks or another entity to ensure that there will be appropriate funding to remove the turbines, foundations and restore the site to the existing condition (or improved environment)?+
Banks will enter an agreement with the local authority to ensure the site is returned as close as practicable to the current ground conditions at the end of the working life cycle. This bond can cover elements such as the removal of turbines, elements of track and foundation upstands. In addition, we will work together with the project team, experts and government to ensure that we design the project to eliminate waste so that materials can be re-used recycled and returned to the supply chain.
Have you had any pre-planning discussions with the local council?+
Yes, we are engaged in ongoing discussions with South Lanarkshire Council to develop the proposals across a number of areas. We are also talking to other statutory bodies, such as Historic Environment Scotland and NatureScot. The planning application will be determined by the Energy Consents Unit and Scottish Ministers, who we have also engaged with.
Will local schools be able to visit the wind farm when it is built to learn about renewable energy?+
As part of the pilot project there will be a focus on upskilling local tradespeople and businesses for energy efficiency measures. As part of this, local schools can be involved so that young people can play an active role in supporting the delivery of the benefit fund.
The masterplan will provide interpretation boards for people to learn about not only the renewable energy project but also the local natural and cultural heritage of the region.
Educational visits to the Bodinglee site for local schools will be possible once complete and we will liaise with local schools to help facilitate this.
How will Bodinglee help fight climate change?+
Bodinglee wind farm will displace 171, 122 tCO2e from the grid every year which helps to reduce national emissions and contributes to Scottish environmental targets. In addition, the battery storage system will displace a further 20,000 tons from the grid annually. The life cycle assessment shows that Bodinglee will become carbon positive in around 2.8 years.
Together with a battery storage system, onshore wind is the most cost effective way of Scotland reaching it’s net-zero targets and contributing to global goals in the fight against climate change.
Could Bodinglee help fund local eco-projects?+
As part of the community benefit proposal, CCETco will fund local people to make environmentally positive improvements to their home which will significantly reduce their carbon footprint and energy costs.
Additionally, the estate has agreed to provide small parcels of land within the local community for community-led growing projects which could include bee keeping and growing food.
Are there any plans for new public toilets as part of Bodinglee?+
Public toilets have not been highlighted as a substantial key local issue and we have no plans to provide them as part of the project.
Could you improve local infrastructure as part of Bodinglee?+
Local path infrastructure will be significantly improved with Bodinglee, providing improved access and active travel opportunities between villages. More information can be seen on the masterplan.
Will Bodinglee help improve local public transport?+
Through the implementation of the masterplan for the site, Bodinglee will provide a substantial network of sustainable travel routes across the site and will install new footpath connections between the local community – over 50KM of tracks in total – connecting in the settlements of Roberton, Douglas and Crawfordjohn. The benefit fund will not initially be focussing local public transport but remains a possibility if the community panel felt strongly that there were sustainable public transport projects that merited investment with the fund.
Will you include EV charging points as part of Bodinglee?+
We have no plans to include EV charging points as part of Bodinglee’s site design, however, we will continue to explore options to develop these together with partners locally if the community panel decides they are an appropriate intervention to explore.
Can we develop a solar farm on the site instead of the turbines?+
Onshore wind energy is a well-established form of generating renewable electricity. As part of Banks renewables expanding portfolio, we are also developing a number of solar farms across the UK to add balance to the UKs energy generation and complement our existing successful wind farm developments. As it stands today Bodinglee will have wind turbines and a battery storage capacity only.
We are interested in the outcome of the polls, if this was available can you share them with us?+
Results from our February 223 survey can be found here.
When is construction likely to take place and how long will it take?+
We expect construction to take place over a two year period between 2026-2028 before becoming operational in 2029. We are committed to forming a liaison group with local residents to manage this process and minimise disruption as much as possible. Together with the local authority and transport stakeholders we will deliver a traffic and construction management plan which can then be further developed and communicated in collaboration with the liaison committee. Local sensitive properties will be contacted on a regular basis leading up to and during the construction process to minimise disruption, inform on key issues and to get feedback.
I have a concern about the wildlife on the site during and after construction. How we will avoid disturbing delicate habitats?+
We are working with ecologists, ornithologists and NatureScot to ensure that we fully understand the habitats and species present on site . We are at the early stages of the design process, and we will be treating these habitats and species as design considerations. Where appropriate, we will also put in place mitigation for both the construction and operational phases. During construction an Ecological Clerk of Works will be present on site to ensure the protection of protected species and habitats. Our Habitat Management Plan for the site will include post construction measures to ensure the natural environment is re-established and improved upon, with a goal of improving the biodiversity of the site and local area.
We are also proposing wholescale improvements and enhancements to the biodiversity and habitats both onsite and offsite, as part of our ambitious and transformative proposals for the area. We are keen for members of the community to complete our survey to help guide us in terms of any nature-based proposals that the site can bring forward.
Will I be able to access the site after construction?+
Access to the land will be significantly improved with new paths linking the villages of Roberton, Douglas and Crawfordjohn. They will also offer safe access between villages, underneath the M74 and give local people better opportunities for active travel. These plans will be further developed in consultation with the local community.
Will Banks work with the council on community benefits?+
We will partner with South Lanarkshire Council to develop plans for community benefits wherever we can. That being said, we are open to exploring different ways of working with community benefit funds which don’t follow the current models of grant-making. Our goal is to ensure that community benefit is accessible, accountable and effective at supporting key local issues that have been brought forward by local communities, and we are always looking for better ways to achieve these goals.
It is helpful to read the guidance on the link below for South Lanarkshire here.
What does “Just Transition” mean?+
This refers to the energy transition taking place and changes it will bring to society. A just transition should create change at a local, community level and share the benefits of change with that community. It should support those most affected as high carbon jobs shift to low carbon ones and help communities reduce their carbon footprint without it being unaffordable. We intend for everyone to have a voice and the power to create the change needed within communities and not just the wider benefits of the wind farm for society.
Why is a “Just Transition’ important?+
Over the last 18 months members of the local community have shared their views with the project team that large scale renewables projects nearby haven’t helped them enough on the energy transition the projects are part of. We know there is an opportunity to tackle the issue at scale and to develop solutions together with local communities that could be delivered by the Bodinglee project.
What does “nature positive” mean?+
Nature positive means enhancing the resilience of our planet and societies to halt and reverse nature loss. A nature positive approach enriches biodiversity, tackles climate change, and often employs nature-based solutions to achieve this.
Why is “nature positive’ important?+
We have all been made aware of the decline in population of important species and habitats around the world and closer to home. The wind farm itself will help tackle climate change and due to the scale of the development there is an opportunity for the project to increase the local area’s biodiversity too.
This is an issue that many local people are passionate about and we believe that there is an opportunity to develop an approach together that not only helps improve biodiversity but supports the regional nature-based (or rural) economy at the same time.
How will Bodinglee help support local wildlife?+
The environmental enhancements described in the Bodinglee masterplan will provide a significant boost for local wildlife & biodiversity. Approximately 1,500 ha of land including peat bogs, woodland and heathland will be managed and/or enhanced to improve habitat in the local area.
What does ‘Heritage, community & place’ mean?+
Enabling communities to understand, value, care for and enjoy their local heritage by supporting the understanding, conservation and enhancement of local environments and helping communities strengthen their sense of place. This can improve the heritage assets and local places within the local community through partnerships, collaboration and skills development.
Why is “Heritage, community & place’ important?+
This approach will aim to target the specific circumstances of the region and engage local people as active participants in development and implementation. Place-based approaches can complement the bigger picture of services and infrastructure by identifying local assets and expertise to both conserve and enhance the community. By identifying these in partnership with the local community we can both improve the connection local people have to the place they call home and make practical improvements to the area. This should help make the local area an attractive place to live, visit, work in and experience for everyone.
How will Bodinglee support local heritage?+
By employing a range of interventions like signage, interpretation boards, improved access and supporting the renovation of a local historical building as the pilot project for energy efficiency, Bodinglee will help celebrate and enhance local cultural heritage. This will only be done in close collaboration with the local community and local heritage groups.
Are there any plans for an energy storage solution on site?+
We will be proposing a battery storage system for the site which will directly support the wind farm’s ability to store the electricity it generates at times when production is higher than demand.
Our current design includes a 106MW battery which will be located onsite which will store electricity from the site and the grid when demand is low, supply the grid with electricity when demand is high and play a key role in helping Scotland deploy renewables by helping balance the demand and supply of electricity, for example when the wind resource is low. This will help reduce energy bills over the long term and provide a key part of Scotland’s journey to net-zero.
Will there be a government subsidy for Bodinglee?+
Recent government pricing mechanisms have been set well below the market cost of energy and therefore are not subsidising onshore wind projects. We believe the project is commercially stable and will not need to rely on government support to be viable.
How will Bodinglee affect tourism?+
The interventions we are proposing (including improved path networks, interpretation boards and signage) will make the area more accessible to tourists and we expect that the proportion of visitors currently coming to the area will increase as a result of the delivery of the masterplan of the site.
What happens after the lifecycle of Bodinglee? Can the turbines be recycled?+
Wind farm technology is becoming increasingly recyclable and we will deliver the highest practicable degree of sustainability when building and decommissioning Bodinglee. This includes designing out waste in the turbine procurement process, construction, operation and decommissioning. Banks is committed to a full restoration of the site when Bodinglee is decommissioned.
Banks will enter an agreement with the local authority to ensure the site is returned as close as practicable to the current ground conditions at the end of the working life cycle. This fund will cover the removal of turbines and foundation upstands will be removed and covered over.
Will the wind turbines help reduce the cost of our energy bills?+
Onshore wind is one the cheapest ways of generating electricity available to us today, and are also protected from sudden increases in prices because they sell their energy at a fixed, long-term price determined by either UK government or energy companies. If more of this cheap form of renewable energy is installed in the UK, it follows that the overall cost of energy (and our bills) should reduce to reflect this. The reason energy costs are so high at the moment is because we still generate a lot of electricity using gas generators, and as the global price of gas is so high, due in part to the war in Ukraine, overall energy prices have risen to unprecedented levels.