Community Wind Partnership To Deliver Major Jobs Boost

by Laura Berry

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

The renewable energy firm will be holding a series of exhibitions for its Knockendurrick Wind FarmLocal businesses in the Dumfries and Galloway area are being invited to attend a series of “Meet the Buyer” events as the first step to getting involved in the development, construction and operations of Banks Renewables’ proposed Knockendurrick Wind Farm.

The firm is holding three exhibitions, on 27th, 28th and 29th August, to update local communities on plans for the proposed seven turbine wind farm and alongside this consultation exercise is running business targeted events.

These will guide businesses through Banks Renewables’ procurement processes, support them in pre-qualifying for tender lists, and will also allow businesses to register their interest in being involved in the targeted employment and training initiative that Banks Renewables intends to deliver as a specific commitment of the planning application for Knockendurrick Wind Farm.

Banks Renewables is committed to employing local firms during the development of the wind farm and is looking to agree with Dumfries and Galloway Council a target for direct economic investment in the area, which based on recent experience should mean that around 15-20% of the £32Million estimated construction cost of the Knockendurrick Wind Farm would be spent on contracts with local firms.

This means that Knockendurrick Wind Farm could deliver a direct, short term, economic boost to Dumfries and Galloway of between £5 Million and £6 Million.

During the construction of the wind farm, contracts will be required for construction and maintenance, ground works, quarry and building products, plant hire and haulage, waste solutions, fabrication, aggregates, utilities, professional services, hospitality and many more

Invitations have already been sent out to over 200 businesses across Dumfries and Galloway and Banks Renewables is expecting a strong response and hopes that many  will come along and take the opportunity to find out more.

Banks Renewables recently announced the major appointment of local firm Natural Power as a key delivery partner in the project. The Castle Douglas based firm is providing support across a range of disciplines including ecology, landscape architecture, planning, transportation and archaeology.

Colin Anderson, development director at Banks Renewables, said: “We have a strong commitment to supporting local communities in the development of our wind farms.

Spending money locally and using local firms that employ local people are very important parts of fulfilling our commitment.

“We know from our ongoing discussions with Dumfries and Galloway Council that this is also a priority for them and we are getting lots of support in developing our plans in this respect.

“I would urge all local businesses that feel they could have a role in developing this wind farm to come along to these events and find out more; and see how they can get involved in this important local development. It is only though their support that we can maximise the economic benefits that can result from the development of Knockendurrick Wind Farm.”

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP

This is the second series of exhibitions held by Banks Renewables. The company has also held many meetings with Community Councils, interest groups, local businesses and other stakeholders over the last 18 months as the plans for Knockendurrick have been developed.

The community exhibition will confirm the final details of Banks Renewables’ Community Partnership offer in Knockendurrick Wind Farm, which has been developed based on feedback from these extensive discussions.

The partnership offer secures for the communities a 3% share of the annual gross revenue from the operating wind farm, should it be approved. This revenue can then be used by local groups and organisations to support projects and initiatives that are close to the heart of the community and which they wish to see delivered.

In addition the communities have the opportunity to purchase up to 5% of the operating wind farm, should it be approved.

The revenue share alone, based on a 23.8MW wind farm and current estimates of future electricity prices, would earn for the communities around £6.5 Million over the life of the wind farm should it get the go ahead; an average of £260,000 per year.

The exhibitions and “Meet the Buyer” events will be held on 27th August at Twynholm Village Hall, Twynholm, 28th August at Gateshouse of Fleet Community Centre, Gateshouse of Fleet and 29th August at Kircudbright Parish Church Hall, Kirkcudbright from 3pm – 7pm

 

Private: Laura Berry

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