Bank Renewables unveils plans for East Ayshire wind farm extension
Plans to build an extension to Lethans wind farm have been unveiled by Banks Renewables in a scoping report submitted to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit.
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 – the onshore wind farm will help Scotland to achieve its Net Zero by 2045 ambitions while boosting the local economy.
The proposed Lethans Wind Farm Extension is located in East Ayrshire, less than 10km north-east of New Cumnock and would have the same National Grid connection as the firm’s approved Lethans Wind Farm, a development of 22 turbines with a maximum output of up to 105.6MW.
The wind farm extension is the latest project from the Hamilton-based employer, and has the potential to deliver a range of benefits to the area, from supporting local jobs and working with local firms, to delivering a community benefit fund of up to £9.9m – while displacing around 33,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.
Banks is keen to replicate its successful Connect2Renewables South Lanarkshire initiative which is currently creating employment opportunities for those living close to its Kype Muir and Middle Muir wind farms.
At Lethans and Lethans Extension it is expected that in the construction phase over £40million 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 / or training.
Robin Winstanley, sustainability and external affairs manager at Banks Renewables, said: “This is an exciting project and represents an important contribution towards Scotland’s Net Zero goals by 2045. While we’re at a very early stage in developing our plans for Lethans Wind Farm Extension, we strongly believe the community should be involved from the start.
“We’re keen to seek the views of local people and work with them in collaboration to deliver a project that will have long-lasting environmental, economic and social benefits.
“Lethans Wind Farm Extension could mean an investment into a community fund over the project’s lifetime. Our current focus is on building on the good relationships we have in East Ayrshire to work together to deliver something that helps create a new legacy and have a positive, sustainable impact on the region.”
Banks’ Lethans Wind Farm was given the green light ahead in October 2020, after plans were revised to maximise the supply of electricity. Among the diverse benefits Lethans Wind Farm will bring includes an investment of at least £7.1m into a local community benefit fund, in addition to another £7.1m to East Ayrshire Council’s Renewable Energy Fund (REF).