A leading renewables firm has successfully erected the first of 15 wind turbines at a major new wind farm that will bolster Scotland’s drive towards net zero.
The structure, totaling 156m in height, has now been installed, kicking off the next stage of development of the Kype Muir Extension – a wind farm that will feature 200m-high wind turbines able to deliver considerable improvements in both output and efficiency when compared to older models.
Its developer, Banks Renewables part of The Banks Group, aims to have the turbines generating renewable electricity by the end of 2022, helping combat the energy shortfall and overreliance on fossil fuel imports that has contributed to soaring energy prices.
The South Lanarkshire wind farm is an extension of the current 26-turbine Kype Muir site which lies south of Strathaven – and will feature four 156m, three 176m and eight 200m-tall wind turbines.
As well as the environmental benefits of generating clean, renewable electricity for around 178,000 homes annually, the Kype Muir and Kype Muir Extension developments are expected to deliver around £21 million in funding to communities local to the area over the lifecycle of the wind farms.
Rachel Allum, principal development planner at Banks Renewables said: “To see the first turbine of the project installed and ready to go is a very proud moment for the team at Banks Renewables.
“This is a major milestone in what is set to have a positive impact on the local community. It will also have a much wider impact in its contribution toward net zero.”
Together, Kype Muir and Kype Muir Extension’s 41 turbines will have an installed electrical generating capacity of around 150MW. This is enough clean electricity to supply around 120,000 homes, equivalent to a city larger than Aberdeen.
A great deal of work has already been completed by Banks Renewables and its contractor R J McLeod in the lead up to the first turbine being erected. As well as creating access tracks to deliver components safely with minimum disruption to local communities and preparing foundations for the turbines themselves, the site team continues to carry out extensive environmental checks to ensure that operations are conducted with sensitivity towards birds, mammals or other protected species in the area.
Banks Renewables has maneuvered its way through soaring material costs, supply chain disruption, and weather delays during turbine installation at Kype Muir Extension in order to deliver to the agreed timelines.
Rachel added: “We’re confident that we can be generating green electricity before the turn of the year which will add huge contributions towards Scotland’s net zero targets.
“Once completed, this project will deliver invaluable positives for its 30-year lifetime. From supporting the local community to its contribution to climate change targets, Kype Muir Extension is set to add a significant value once it’s up and running.”
Since planning permission was approved for the original Kype Muir Wind Farm in 2014, Banks have met with community groups and members to ensure the project and plan delivers the maximum benefits locally.
Kype Muir and Kype Muir Extension are set to deliver community benefits equating to more than £700,000 made available to surrounding communities each year.
The project is a flagship development for Banks Renewables and is where the company’s first Scottish Community Partnership was launched. With the introduction of Kype Muir Extension, the Hamilton-based firm will look to reinforce and enhance the principles of Community Partnership originally founded at Kype Muir.