Banks Renewcables secures £11.7 million funding for Lancashire wind farm
Banks Renewables, part of the Durham-headquartered Banks Group, has secured an £11.7 million funding package with the Royal Bank of Scotland for the construction of its sixth onshore wind farm.
The Lancashire wind farm will feature three turbines, situated on agricultural land around 1km to the south east of Heysham.
Cheetham Hill Construction will begin preparatory construction work on site in the near future, with the turbines, which will be supplied by industry-leading manufacturer Nordex delivered via the Port of Heysham, expected to be in place before the end of the year. Connection to the local grid will then follow early in 2015.
Legal advice on the deal was provided to Banks Renewables by Bond Pearce LLP and Brodies LLP, with Natural Power Consultants, RPS, TNEI and Prevailing also acting on the company’s behalf. Law firm Watson, Farley and Williams acted for the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Banks Renewables currently operates four wind farms, three in Yorkshire and one in Cumbria, and as well as taking the Heysham South Wind Farm forward, the Durham-based family business is expecting to begin preparatory work on the site of the approved five turbine Hook Moor Wind Farm in West Yorkshire within the next year.
Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, said: “Banks Renewables’ long-term ambition is to develop, construct and operate a sizeable portfolio of onshore wind farms across the north of England and Scotland, and reaching this agreement with Royal Bank of Scotland represents the latest step along the way to realising this objective.“
Between ten and fifty people will be employed on the Heysham South site at any one time during the site preparation and construction phases of the project.
A related community benefits fund worth at least £250k across the 25-year lifespan of the wind farm will enable Banks Renewables to deliver a range of community and environmental improvements in partnership with local people, to help ensure tangible, long-term benefits result from the company’s presence in the area.
Phil Dyke continued: “Onshore wind is acknowledged as the cheapest form of renewable energy production, enjoys wide ranging support among the UK population, is reducing the amount of carbon dioxide we emit as a country, and is helping to increase the amount of indigenous energy we can produce by renewable means.
“Carefully designed and sensibly-sited onshore wind farms such as Heysham South will be central to producing the energy that we all use over the coming decades, and the support that Royal Bank of Scotland is providing for this project demonstrates their continuing validity from a commercial as well as an environmental point of view.“
Andrew Buglass, head of Energy, Structured Finance at The Royal Bank of Scotland, added: “Banks has a strong track record in developing onshore wind farms successfully and we’re very pleased to support the Heysham South project.
“We value highly the relationship developed with Banks Renewables through this transaction and hope this is the first stage of a longer lasting partnership with Banks.
“We have a very active pipeline of other deals in onshore wind and other renewable technologies and are keen to continue our market-leading support for this important sector.“