It has amended its plans for the 22-turbine Lethans Wind Farm to optimise the efficiency of the site in order to supply an estimated 105.6MW of energy to the National Grid – enough to power over 90,000 homes. The improved proposal looks to increase the site’s lifespan from 25 to 30 years, as well as increase the height and the rotor diameter of the turbines.
Banks hopes to create upwards of 130 direct jobs during the site’s constructions and said that it will prioritise local companies, wherever possible, for the construction contracts.
The company said that communities within 10km of Lethans would benefit from a £7.1m local community fund; a £1.3m skills and training fund to help around 440 local unemployed people overcome barriers to work; £250,000 contribution towards new mountain bike trails; and a £7.1m contribution East Ayrshire Council’s Renewable Energy Fund. It addition it will offer the local community the opportunity to purchase up to a 5% share in the wind farm.
Jeannie Kielty, community relations manager at Banks Renewables, said: “If the amendments are approved, it will enable us to increase the clean, green electricity generated by Lethans Wind Farm, as well as make an investment of approximately £39m into the Scottish economy during construction. Overall, it is estimated that £132m will be invested into the Scottish economy during the project lifecycle.”
The site was initially granted planning consent by the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit in March 2018 following a positive recommendation from East Ayrshire Council.
Kielty added: “We’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to the planning process over the past couple of years and hope that it will once again lead to a positive decision from the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit and local planning authority.”