Seven-figure South Lanarkshire wind farm extension contract to boost local economy

Gordon Thomson, head of projects, Banks Renewables

RJ McLeod, headquartered in Glasgow, has been awarded the “balance of plant”[1] contract by Hamilton-based employer, Banks Renewables for its 15-turbine Kype Muir wind farm extension project near Strathaven in South Lanarkshire.

Around 20% of RJ McLeod’s employees are based in Lanarkshire.  This means that Lanarkshire-based employees will help to deliver one of the largest contracts available as part of the project.  This is in line with Banks Renewables’ development with care and Connect2Renewables approach that seeks to ensure as much of the investments made in these projects delivers maximum benefits to the local community and to local businesses.

RJ McLeod will directly employ around 30 people on the project, with around a further 50 or so people, performing various roles, employed by subcontractors on the project. 

Located 7.5km south of Strathaven, the Kype Muir extension will become the UK’s first onshore wind farm with 200m-tall turbines.  Its 15 turbines will combine with Kype Muir wind farm’s existing 26 turbines. Combined, they will produce up to 155MW of electricity per annum.  This is enough to meet the needs of around 112,000 homes, that is over 270,000 people or a city larger than Aberdeen[2].

Construction work is due to start in the coming weeks.  All being well it is hoped that Kype Muir Extension will be generating electricity by the end of next year; 2022.

Jamie Corser, Business Development Manager at RJ McLeod said: “We’re delighted to be back working with Banks Renewables, off the back of successful contracts at the original Kype Muir wind farm and nearby Middle Muir wind farm. 

“Being a Scottish company that’s been around since the 1950s, employing locally to sites is something we have always believed in and something Banks has always believed in. We’re very much on the same page.”

Around a total of 90 jobs will be supported during the construction of the wind farm extension, with contracts to local suppliers excluding RJ McLeod exceeding £10million through Banks’ Connect2Renewables initiative, which pledges to maximise the social, economic and environmental benefit of its schemes in surrounding communities.

Gordon Thomson, head of projects, Banks Renewables, said: “It’s great to be working with RJ McLeod again after the excellent relationship we built with them during the construction of our Middle Muir and Kype Muir wind farms.

“Onshore wind farms deliver significant investment in rural areas in Scotland.  Our Kype Muir wind farm alone will invest almost £100 million[3] locally to nearby communities around Strathaven over its lifetime.”

“The new extension at Kype Muir will not only provide a financial boost to local economies, but also provide job opportunities for local people too.

“RJ McLeod’s commitment to employing locally was very clear from the beginning of the tendering process and is one of the factors which made it the ideal candidate to work with on this project.”

A new community partnership agreement linked to the Kype Muir Extension scheme is also expected to deliver around £10m in community funding for local projects and groups around the local area over the site’s 30-year life.

When added to the existing Kype Muir wind farm benefits fund, this means there will be in excess of £770,000 available to support community groups and voluntary organisations and environmental projects in every year that the sites are both operational.

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