Wind energy experts have applied to install test equipment that will measure wind speeds on a site in the Scottish Borders. Hamilton based Banks Renewables has requested permission to erect an 80m wind mast at a site in Heriot, which will help establish if the location is suitable for wind farm development.
Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables said:
“The process of developing a wind farm is very demanding. Detailed technical and environmental assessments are needed to be absolutely sure a site is suitable.
“Erecting a wind monitoring mast is an essential part of that. The data it collects will confirm whether a proposed site is windy enough to sustain turbines.
“It also allows us to provide the community with forecasts of likely energy production from the proposed wind farm. Beyond that the information collected will also enable us to come up with the most sensitive possible design of the project.”
Scottish Borders Council is expected to approve the test mast application this month (February). If that happens, Scottish-based companies will be contracted to erect the test mast within months.
Banks Renewables is at the earliest stages of considering a possible wind farm at the site, which could involve up to seven wind turbines, each up to 125m high.
It has already started what will be extensive consultation with local people, involving Community Councils in Heriot and in the neighbouring Midlothian communities of Tynewater and Moorfoot.
“We have already had a number of meetings with community groups in the area and while we are still at the very early stages of the project we intend to continue to develop these relationships and ensure the communities are kept fully informed.
“The input and feedback of local families and business will be hugely important over the coming months. Local people will have a very clear say in shaping our proposals. Our experience shows more active community participation results in better outcomes for all concerned.
“If the wind farm goes ahead it will bring a host of social, economic and environmental benefits to the area and we want that to happen in partnership with the community.”
Banks Renewables has extensive experience of working in partnership with local communities across Scotland and the United Kingdom to successfully design and develop new energy schemes. The firm has run similar projects, and results have included the creation of jobs and training initiatives, direct funding to community groups, and the delivery of major environmental projects.
Banks Renewables is part of the Banks Group, a family firm founded in 1976, which now employs 420 people in the renewable energy, property and mining sectors. The company’s development with care approach underpins all its work, driving community consultation and environmental excellence.