A SCOTTISH firm’s second wind farm became fully operational yesterday and is expected to supply around 88MW of clean, green electricity to the National Grid this spring.

The development at Kype Muir in South Lanarkshire, by Banks Renewables, is also delivering a range of social, economic and environmental benefits across the area through the company’s Connect2Renewables initiative.

This is a partnership between the local community, Banks Renewables – which is based in Hamilton – and South Lanarkshire Council, aimed at maximising the social, economic and environmental benefit of the wind farm to the local area.

As part of this, the company used local firms, where possible, in the development and construction of the wind farm.

It is estimated that the initiative has already delivered more than £30 million in economic benefit with more than £100m to be delivered over the project’s 25-year life span.

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With Kype Muir now operational, Banks Renewables is supporting the local area with annual contributions of £442,000 into a community fund flowing from the its share of wind farms’ revenues. The Kype Muir Community Fund will be administered in two parts, with one determined by a local community panel and the other distributed by South Lanarkshire’s Renewable Energy Fund. Half of the money will be ring-fenced for the Connect2Renewables employability fund, which will focus on increasing access to job opportunities for local people.

Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, who officially opened the development, yesterday, said: “The opening of Kype Muir wind farm is a welcome addition to Scotland’s renewables portfolio, and I am delighted that Banks Group have chosen to invest in South Lanarkshire despite uncertainty for the sector caused by UK-wide policy changes since 2015.

“Onshore wind continues to be the lowest form of energy at scale and remains vitally important to our decarbonisation ambitions. It has a key role to play in meeting our global climate change targets, adding 88MW to the operational capacity of onshore wind in Scotland which, at the start of 2019, was over 7.7GW.”

Richard Dunkley, MD of Banks Renewables, said: “I’m delighted that Banks Renewables’ second wind farm in South Lanarkshire is now supplying clean, green electricity to the grid.

“Through Banks Renewables’ Connect2Renewables charter, we committed and delivered on prioritising local firms for the construction works of Kype Muir. This resulted in the use of R J McLeod as main contractor, who in turn has prioritised the use of local sub-contractors.

“We look forward to working with the Scottish Government, and others, to ensure that onshore wind – the cheapest form of renewable energy – has a route to market in the coming years.”

Lorcan Hayes, R J McLeod’s site manager at Kype Muir, added: “As a Scottish based contractor, with 20% of our employees from the Lanarkshire area, we are very pleased to have worked on this project.”