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Scottish Gov. approves East Ayrshire wind farm

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Banks Renewables, Lethans wind farm, has received approval from the Scottish Government.

Approvement ensures that Lethans’ 22 turbines with a maximum tip height of 220 meters (the tallest turbines to date in Scotland) would have a maximum output of up to 105,6 MW.

“This has taken many years of hard work, planning and close consultation with the local community and it is a major milestone to see it over the line. As well as being a meaningful advance in Scotland’s green energy agenda, approval for Lethans will also deliver real, deep and long-lasting benefits to the local people, the environment and to the economy of East Ayrshire.

“We’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to the planning processes over recent years, particularly those members of the local community who have fully embraced the process. We’re excited to move this project forward and make the many benefits that it will deliver a reality.”

Robin Winstanley, sustainability and external affairs manager at Banks Renewables.

Once completed, Lethans will boost the bank’s operating wind farm portfolio to 300MW in Scotland, including Kype Muir, Middle Muir, and 400MW across the UK.

“Over the 30 years of its lifespan, Lethans will contribute at least £7.1 million into a local community benefit fund. It will also contribute another £7.1 million to East Ayrshire Council’s Renewable Energy Fund. That is money that can be targeted to make a meaningful and positive impact on life in the area, particularly on projects which local people have identified as important to them.”

Robin Winstanley, sustainability and external affairs manager at Banks Renewables.

“As the renewable energy industry works towards its climate change targets, it is vital that onshore wind farms maximize their efficiency in order to provide low cost, low carbon electricity to energy consumers. Therefore larger, more productive turbines that maximize energy yields must be considered.

“We are really delighted to see another pioneering scheme pushing the boundaries of turbine dimensions – securing the best possible outcome for our client and the wider energy sector.”

Emily Galloway, principal project manager at Natural Power.

Among the many benefits that Lethans will offer, there will be a $1.3 million Skills and Training Fund to help up to 440 local unemployed people for jobs or training.

The project will also pay $38 million in business rates over its lifespan–while the local community will have the ability to buy a 5 percent equity interest in the wind farm at a generous 25 per cent community discount.

Construction of the project would also offer substantial local benefits, as Banks Renewables has a history of sourcing local companies to its ventures. At Lethans, its Connect2Renewables Charter is estimated to have at least £16 million invested in the region by local suppliers and contractors.

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