UPDATE ON BANDIRRAN WIND FARM FOR SCONE MAGAZINE

by Melissa Clark

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Banks Director Colin AndersonBanks Renewables is in the process of developing plans for a wind farm, which could see a unique community partnership created with local communities in Perth and Kinross.

The Hamilton-based business is hoping to submit plans for a wind farm on the Bandirran Estate near Balbeggie later this year and has completed a first round of public exhibitions as well as recently submitting a scoping report to Perth and Kinross Council.

A test mast designed to collect valuable wind speed data, will be erected on the site in June and the data collected from it will be used to confirm the suitability of the site alongside ongoing environmental, landscape and habitat assessments.

Plans for the wind farm include a unique opportunity for communities to participate in the project and the concept of a community partnership approach has been highlighted during a number of meetings held between Banks Renewables and local community groups, businesses and community councils, as well as at a recent series of exhibitions.

Colin Anderson, director at Banks Renewables said: “Our proposed Bandirran Wind Farm is still in the early stages of the planning application process and a final design for the scheme has not yet been reached.

“Not only do we want to create a wind farm which will provide an abundance of renewable energy, but we also want to ensure the local community can benefit as much as possible from the scheme and are looking at ways in which we can do so.

“One option we have put to the communities is the idea of creating a partnership where the community would secure a stake in their local wind farm.

“The revenue generated by this could provide regular funding direct into the communities and be used to make a positive long term difference to the area, bringing with it a range of economic, social and environmental benefits.

“In addition we are talking to local firms and Perth & Kinross Council about the development of local employment and training initiatives, as well as the commercial opportunities for local businesses associated with the construction and operations of a wind farm at Bandirran.

“We have now met with the local community councils and have also held local exhibitions to provide information to the wider community. At these events we’ve outlined the opportunity for a partnership approach and have been encouraged by the genuine interest there seems to be in the idea; but of course people want to see the detailed proposals before making up their minds.

“We’ve therefore agreed to get this to them as soon as we can and hopefully this will pave the way for a meaningful discussion and an agreement on how best to move the project forward.”

If approved the Banks Renewables Bandirran Wind Farm has the potential to accommodate up to eight turbines, with a capacity of 27.2MW.

Banks Renewables has extensive experience working with communities across Scotland to successfully design and deliver major energy, property and regeneration schemes; making a positive impact on the environment, the economy and the life’s of local people.

Equivalent projects by the firm are set to result in the creation of jobs and training initiatives, provision of community infrastructure, delivery of major environmental projects and direct funding into community groups.

Public relations in Scotland for Banks Renewables is handled by the expert PR team at Holyrood Partnership.

Melissa Clark

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