Hamilton-based developer Banks Renewables has looked to improve the appearance of its proposed Lethans Community Wind Farm in the landscape and has removed five turbines that were originally to be located on a ridge.
The total number of turbines has also been reduced from 26 to 22. Banks Renewables is now proposing that five 176m turbines are located within the valley area, which is better screened from view. The updated 74.8MW project will be capable of powering an estimated 40,600 homes.
Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at Banks Renewables, said: "The new design and the lie of the land on the site means that the wind farm will fit into the local landscape.
“Perhaps most importantly though, is that by fostering strong relationships with the very supportive neighbouring communities over the past three years, we believe that our proposals will directly benefit the local area and deliver a real, lasting, positive impact.”
As part of an ongoing period of consultation in 2015, Banks Renewables received 420 letters of support from the public, with just one letter of objection. The proposed site is over 2km away from the nearest homes.
“If the development is approved, not only will it create sustainable energy but it will also open up funding that will be directed into local causes and employment opportunities which will help with the overall regeneration of the area,” said Stokes.
The plans for Lethans Community Wind Farm have been submitted to the Scottish Government's Energy Consents & Deployment Unit and East Ayrshire Council.
If approved, the electricity generated from the wind farm will provide funding to deliver tailored benefits to the communities including helping to support their recently launched action plans.
Construction costs are put at an estimated £70m with a potential £17m to form local contracts, including a variety of local services, from aggregate supply to catering facilities.
The Lethans Wind Farm would contribute approximately £8m over the 25-year lifetime of the project towards community initiatives, in addition to a £250,000 investment towards improving access to the site with cycling and walking facilities.
Banks Renewables is also offering the community the opportunity to purchase up to a 5% stake in Lethans Wind Farm, which would provide an annual revenue stream over the lifetime of the wind farm.