Developers behind plans for a major new wind farm in Lanarkshire have claimed their proposals could save local households millions each year on their energy bills.

In addition to providing green electricity for more than 200,000 households, Banks Renewables said the 37-turbine Bodinglee wind farm and battery storage development near Douglas will be accompanied by the creation of a new community-owned organisation to improve the energy efficiency of local homes. The Clydesdale Community Energy Transition Company (CCETco) will also work towards the replacement of ageing fossil fuel heating systems in the area.

The plans have been submitted to South Lanarkshire council for review. If approved, it is said that Bodinglee will be among the most powerful and efficient onshore wind farms in the UK.

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Banks Renewables has forecast that over the 40-year lifespan Bodinglee, the blended community benefits package of an estimated £53 million will save locals between £2.5m and £4.5m each year on energy bills.

“We believe we have presented a very strong case for approving this scheme, which would deliver significant environmental, social and economic benefits to local communities in South Lanarkshire that would help tackle climate change and drive down energy bills for local households," said Robin Winstanley, sustainability and external affairs manager at Banks Renewables.

“The blended benefits package which would result from Bodinglee wind farm is innovative in its approach, looking beyond the traditional model of issuing grants from a central pot, seeking to reshape how a just energy transition could directly benefit local households and the wider community.”

Banks Renewables commissioned a study by independent consultants Natural Power which shows that funding these money-saving measures could result in between £2m and £4.4m in annual savings for 6,500 local households, all of which are in an area identified as being especially exposed to rising energy costs due to a higher-than-average proportion of older inefficient properties.

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In addition to the creation of CCETco, Banks Renewables has offered to gift a 1% stake in the wind farm to the community. A further 9% will be available to purchase at market rate if desired, which would boost the community funding element above the £53m figure.

“Our vision for the site is not just to create a wind farm, but for Bodinglee to deliver sustainable, positive and transformative change for South Lanarkshire," Mr Winstanley added.

“Since we commenced development of the project in 2021 we have been meeting with and listening to local communities, businesses, and a wide variety of people locally, and we hope we have exceeded their expectation of what Bodinglee windfarm can contribute to South Lanarkshire and we hope that people locally will support our application to build what would be a nationally significant green energy development on the UK and Scotland’s journey to net zero.”