Foundations in place at South Lanarkshire wind farm

Lorcan Hayes, site agent with RJ McLeod, at the Kype Muir site

The construction of a new South Lanarkshire wind farm has taken a big step forward as groundworks, including turbine foundations, are completed ahead of turbine assembly in July.

Banks Renewables’ Kype Muir Wind Farm will boost the local economy during construction and throughout its lifespan. In line with Banks’ Connect2Renewables commitment to ‘buy local’, the company appointed local contractor, RJ McLeod, to carry out the construction works for the 26 turbine site, located just south of Strathaven.

RJ McLeod, which is headquartered in Glasgow, employed 15 members of staff on the project, plus a further 20 in sub-contracts and another 85 as labourers, most of whom lived locally to the site.

Lorcan Hayes, site agent at RJ McLeod, said: “It’s a massive project for us and we are proud it is progressing well.

“With the groundworks nearing completion, you can get a sense of how the site will look now.

“We’re absolutely thrilled that Banks is keeping to its word and appointing local firms such as ourselves for a project that will deliver huge benefits to the local community.

“As part of the tender for the contract Banks required us to confirm details of the local supply chain. I am therefore really pleased that our commitment to use as many local sub-contractors as possible, and indeed that we ourselves are a local business, helped us to win such a prestigious contract.”

Colin Anderson, development director at Banks Renewables, said: “Involving local people and local businesses at every stage is the right thing to do.

“Connect2Renewables could simply be defined as ‘doing the right thing’; but I also believe it has a greater ambition, which is about giving people, communities and businesses opportunities they might not otherwise have.”

Construction work at Kype Muir, including the erection of the turbines and the connection of the site to the National Grid, is due to be completed in early 2019. The wind farm will be fully operational shortly thereafter.

As well as the direct economic boost from contracts awarded locally, the communities around Kype Muir Wind Farm will benefit from a share of the revenues it generates, expected to be at least £442,000 per year – equating to some £11.05 million over the life of the project.

The 88.4MW Kype Muir project sees Banks delivering on the commitments made within its Connect2Renewables Charter and the project is now on track to deliver around £100m of local economic benefits over the next 30 years.

Banks’ Connect2Renewables Charter was launched in 2014, with the objective of significantly increasing the level of local benefits derived from the development of its renewable energy projects. Kype Muir is the first major Banks project which has had the C2R commitments applied to it throughout development and construction. To date around £19.7m of contracts have been awarded to local firms, with a further £10.8m expected to flow into the local economy over the coming months as turbines are erected.

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