The “tallest onshore wind turbines in Great Britain” are currently being built in Lanarkshire.
The expansion of the Kype Muir wind farm, 3 miles south of Strathaven, will, when completed, have the capacity to meet the annual electricity needs of a larger city than Aberdeen.
The construction of the 200 meter high wind turbines will create around 90 local jobs.
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Hamilton-based Banks Renewables began work after securing new funding with Greencoat UK Wind earlier this year.
The expansion will complement the Kype Muir wind farm, which has been in operation since 2019, with 26 turbines and together have an installed capacity of 155 MW, which is sufficient to cover the annual electricity needs of around 112,000 households.
The world’s leading manufacturer Nordex was commissioned to supply and install the turbines for the project, while the Balance of Plant contract was signed with Scottish civil engineering company RJ McLeod, as was the case with the original Kype Muir wind farm.
Banks Renewables’ Connect2Renewables initiative, which maximizes the social, economic and environmental benefits of the program for local communities, is expected to have contracts worth up to £ 10 million available for local suppliers in the area.
A new community fund linked to the Kype Muir expansion project is also expected to provide around £ 10 million to community improvement projects in the area over the 30 year life of the site.
Combined with the existing Kype Muir wind farm community fund, this means that over £ 770,000 will be available for community improvement projects every year that both sites are up and running.
Preparatory work on the site has recently started, construction of the turbines is scheduled to begin in summer 2022 and the project is scheduled to go into operation at the end of next year.
Richard Dunkley, Managing Director at Banks Renewables, said: “This is a landmark project for us and for the entire Scottish renewable energy sector as we continue to increase our contribution to the UK path towards Net Zero and COP26.
“The Kype Muir expansion will be the first site in the UK to use highly efficient 200m turbines and have an average power per turbine of 15 GWh per year, compared to an average of 9 GWh per year for the existing Kype Muir turbines which will be significantly increasing the amount of renewable energy the wind farm can produce.
“We already have a strong track record of delivering tangible economic, employment and social benefits to the communities around the existing Kype Muir program, and we will significantly improve our contribution to the well-being of the region through this latest program.
“Onshore wind power provides consumers with the best value for money as we continue to drive new renewable energy developments that support the net zero and climate commitments of the Scottish and UK governments, and we plan to use more renewable energies that will continue to play a key role in delivering the UK’s cheapest, low carbon energy.
“We are proud that an organization as respected as Greencoat UK Wind plc shares our vision for the delivery of the Kype Muir extension and that their investment package is a real expression of confidence in the quality and impact of our plans.”
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