Work begins on landmark wind turbine extension project

CONSTRUCTION work is underway on a project to install the UK’s tallest onshore wind turbines after Banks Renewables secured new funding agreements with Greencoat UK Wind.

200m-tall turbines will be erected as part of the 15-turbine extension to the Kype Muir wind farm in South Lanarkshire, around five kilometres south of Strathaven.

The extension will complement the 26-turbine wind farm, which has been operational since 2019. Together they will have a combined installed capacity of 155MW, which is enough to meet the annual electricity needs of around 112,000 homes.

Nordex has been contracted to supply and install the turbines, while the balance of plant contract has been agreed with civil engineering contractor R J McLeod, as was the case with the original Kype Muir wind farm.

Around 90 jobs will be supported through the construction of the extension, while contracts worth up to £10 million are expected to be available to local suppliers in the surrounding area through Banks Renewables’ Connect2Renewables initiative.

Brodies advised Banks Renewables on the deal, while Greencoat UK Wind plc was advised by Norton Rose Fulbright.

Preparatory work recently began on the site, with erection work on the turbines set to start by summer 2022. The scheme is scheduled to go live by the end of next year.

Richard Dunkley, MD Banks Renewables, said, “This is a landmark project for both ourselves and the wider Scottish renewable energy sector as we continue to increase our contribution to the UK’s journey towards net zero and COP26. The Kype Muir extension will be the first site in the UK to use highly efficient 200m turbines and will have an average output per turbine of 15GWh per year, compared to an average of 9GWh per annum on the existing Kype Muir turbines, which will substantially increase the amount of renewable energy that 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 scheme and will be significantly enhancing our contribution to the area’s well-being through this latest scheme.

“Onshore wind represents the best value for money to consumers as we continue to bring forward new renewable energy developments that support the Scottish and UK governments’ Net Zero and climate change obligations, and we plan to deploy more renewables which will continue to play a key role in delivering the UK’s lowest cost, low carbon energy.

“We’re proud that an organisation as well regarded as Greencoat UK Wind plc shares our vision for the delivery of the Kype Muir extension and their investment package is a real expression of confidence in the quality and impact of our plans.”