Christina McKelvie, SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, visited the Banks Renewables office on Leechlee Road with Councillor Josh Wilson, SNP Councillor for Hamilton South to discuss the group’s work in the area on Monday 25th February.
Banks Renewables is looking to upgrade to more efficient turbines for the Kype Muir Extension Wind Farm, which is set to contain 15 wind turbines. The plans for the extension received a non-objection from South Lanarkshire Council’s planning committee in January and it now only requires final approval from the Scottish Government Energy Consents Unit.
The Kype Muir Project was the site which the group used to launch the first Community Partnering and Connect 2 Renewables proposals which aims to maximise the socio-economic benefits of the wind farm for the company, council and local communities. The community fund generated from both Kype Muir and Kype Muir extension will total over £20 million over their lifetime.
Christina welcomed the news, saying: “I was delighted to hear the news that the approval for Kype Muir extension is now with the Scottish Government. This new development will help unlock a raft of extra investment for our local communities.
“In particular I look forward to seeing the benefits the extra funding will bring to Connect2Renewables (C2R) Charter which has had a real impact through a program of employing local apprentices and opening up other local employment opportunities. I pushed hard for this when the first windfarms were being planned and have been delighted at how proactive that Banks Renewables has been in their work at a local level.
“Recently, while out in Stonehouse I was stopped by a mother who had spoken to me about her worries about the lack of jobs available for her son. Her son is now a qualified Electrical Engineer. That’s the kind of real change this extra money will bring to people’s lives.”
Josh said: “The Council enjoys a good relationship with the Banks Group and I welcome their commitment to the area. The Kype Muir extension has the potential to power hundreds of homes locally and has great potential.
“I look forward to continuing to work closely with the group and explore the opportunities that green energy can provide.”
Banks Renewables executive director, Richard Dunkley said: “We are really proud of the impact that the Connect 2 Renewables and Community Partnering initiatives are bringing to the South Lanarkshire Area. The collaborative approach between South Lanarkshire Council, the local communities surrounding Kype Muir and Banks Renewables has resulted in an innovative solution which will maximise the benefits of the wind farms to the local area."