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East Ayrshire: Plans unveiled for wind farm extension

Plans to build an extension to Lethans Wind Farm in East Ayrshire have been unveiled by Banks Renewables in a scoping report submitted to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit.

The proposed Lethans Wind Farm Extension is located less than 10km north-east of New Cumnock and would have the same National Grid connection as the firm’s approved Lethans Wind Farm, a development of 22 turbines with a maximum output of up to 105.6MW.

The employer claims the wind farm extension has the potential to deliver a range of benefits to the area, from supporting local jobs and working with local firms, to delivering a community benefit fund of up to £9.9m – while displacing around 33,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

At Lethans and Lethans Extension, it is expected that in the construction phase over £40million will go to Scottish contractors and a £1.3m skills and training fund for the first five years could support over 400 local unemployed people get into work and training.

Robin Winstanley, sustainability and external affairs manager at Banks Renewables, said: “This is an exciting project and represents an important contribution towards Scotland’s Net Zero goals by 2045. While we’re at a very early stage in developing our plans for Lethans Wind Farm Extension, we strongly believe the community should be involved from the start.

“We’re keen to seek the views of local people and work with them in collaboration to deliver a project that will have long-lasting environmental, economic and social benefits.

“Lethans Wind Farm Extension could mean an investment into a community fund over the project’s lifetime. Our current focus is on building on the good relationships we have in East Ayrshire to work together to deliver something that helps create a new legacy and have a positive, sustainable impact on the region.”

Banks’ Lethans Wind Farm was given the green light ahead in October 2020 after plans were revised to maximise the supply of electricity.