CONSTRUCTION of a wind farm extension in Scotland featuring what are described as the “UK’s tallest onshore wind turbines”, at 200 metres high, is under way.

Hamilton-based family business Banks Renewables has announced today that construction work has begun on a 15-turbine extension to the Kype Muir wind farm in South Lanarkshire, around five kilometres south of Strathaven, after it secured new funding agreements with Greencoat UK Wind at the start of the year.

The extension will complement the 26-turbine Kype Muir wind farm, which has been operational since 2019, and they will together have a combined installed capacity of 155 megawatts, which would be enough to meet the annual electricity needs of around 112,000 homes – or a city larger than Aberdeen

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

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Richard Dunkley, managing director at 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 (gigawatt hours) 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."

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Around 90 jobs will be supported through the construction of the Kype Muir extension, while contracts worth up to £10m are expected to be available to local suppliers in the surrounding area, Banks Renewables noted..

A new community fund linked to the Kype Muir extension scheme is also expected to deliver around £10m in funding for community improvement projects around the local area over the site’s 30-year lifespan, according to Banks Renewables.

Mr Dunkley highlighted Banks Renewables' appetite for further developments.

He said: "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 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.”