The County Durham-headquartered family firm reached the landmark at the site of its Kype Muir Extension Wind Farm, a 15-turbine scheme in South Lanarkshire which is due to begin generating clean energy early in the new year and which will be able to meet the annual electricity needs of around 53,700 households when fully operational.
To mark the occasion, Banks Renewables welcomed Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to the Kype Muir Extension Wind Farm site to see the first of its eight 200m turbines being connected and to discuss the future of renewable energy with members of Banks’ expert team.
More than 480,000 MWh of green electricity was generated during Banks Renewables’ last financial year from its portfolio of ten onshore wind farms across Scotland and the north of England, which is enough to meet the annual electricity needs of over 155,000 homes, or a conurbation around one and a half times the size of Newcastle.
The wind farms also contribute over £817,000 between them every year to community benefits funds linked to each location, which provide financial support for a range of community, environmental and skills projects being undertaken by groups and good causes in their respective surrounding areas.
During her visit to the Kype Muir Extension Wind Farm site, Nicola Sturgeon said, “Onshore wind is the biggest source of renewable energy in Scotland, making it a vital part of our mission to become a net zero economy by 2045.
“In addition to being a cheap and reliable source of electricity that harnesses one of our most abundant resources, onshore wind can also help us meet that target in a way that benefits communities – through the creation of high-quality jobs, and investment in local businesses and supply chains – as part of a just transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
“The damaging impacts of the climate emergency recently highlighted at COP27 and the spike in energy prices since the war in Ukraine have demonstrated the importance of accelerating that transition, with the Kype Muir Extension Wind Farm being a significant example of that in action.”
Alongside its existing ten onshore wind farms and others which are being developed in Scotland, Banks Renewables is also currently looking to deploy further renewable energy technologies at a number of new sites.
It recently announced plans for a groundbreaking new green energy hub at the former Thorpe Marsh power station site near Doncaster which would involve the deployment of what’s thought to be the largest battery energy storage system currently being planned in the UK, and one of the largest anywhere in the world.
Richard Dunkley, managing director at Banks Renewables, adds,“Banks Renewables has established itself as one of the leading owner/operators in the UK onshore wind sector over the last two decades, and having successfully transitioned the Banks Group from a coal mining business into a renewable energy business, we believe we are unique in our own decarbonization story.
“Generating more of the electricity that we all use via renewable means within the UK will ensure we have more secure and cheaper energy supplies in the future, rather than having to rely on energy imports from overseas.
“We are continuing to bring forward a range of innovative new renewable and flexible energy generation and storage projects across the UK, and are focused on maximizing our contribution to the UK’s transition to net zero by continuing to increase the amount of clean energy that we generate for use in the UK’s homes, school, hospitals and businesses.
“We were delighted to welcome the First Minister to the Kype Muir Extension Wind Farm site and have her mark such a major milestone for our renewables business and for Scotland’s renewable energy sector.”
PHOTO: Banks Renewables' head of projects Gordon Thomson with Nicola Sturgeon at the Kype Muir Extension Wind Farm site.