Renewables firm donates £195k to community pot

A South Lanarkshire community fund has been topped up by hundreds of thousands of pounds in 2023 from benefits generated by a nearby wind farm.

Last year, OnPath Energy – formerly known as Banks Renewables- paid a total of £194,920 into the Kype Muir Community Partnership (KMCP) – a fund which was set up by the developer to distribute community benefits generated from its Kype Muir Wind Farm, to the local area.

From the £195k pledged to the KMCP fund, £95,000 has already been distributed to local groups and initiatives.

The KMCP fund was set up in 2018 and has since represented a range of communities within 10km of Kype Muir Wind Farm, which lies near Strathaven in South Lanarkshire.

Robin Winstanley, of Hamilton-based OnPath Energy said: “From improving facilities and spaces to backing meaningful arts and environmental programs, the funded projects are all hugely important parts of the South Lanarkshire community. This flexibility in the funding is what makes the fund so valuable.”

In 2023, a £45,000 KMCP grant helped Sandford Village Hall improve disability and access issues, a £3,860 KMCP grant supported Lesmahagow Highland Games and a £19,500 KMCP grant enabled Climate Action Strathaven to improve transport links for its community bus service.

An independent panel agrees on how the fund supports a wide range of community needs, from community buildings and local art installations to helping to drive local grassroots projects to deliver social, economic and environmental benefits near the wind farm.

Priority is given to support projects in specific Community Council areas.

The fund is part of the Connect2Renewables initiative, in which the firm commits to maximising the economic, social, and environmental benefits of its wind farms in South Lanarkshire.

Robin added: “Enabling communities to shape their own priorities is key. The independent panel oversees a process to ensure the fund can empower real grassroots action and a community-first approach.

“Renewable developments have the potential to be about much more than renewable energy, but the fundamentals remain that onshore wind is making hugely positive impacts on the health of our planet.”

Kype Muir Wind Farm is a flagship development for OnPath Energy. Consisting of 26 turbines, the site has been fully operational since 2018.

OnPath Energy is also close to completing Kype Muir Extension, a neighbouring 15-turbine site which features the UK’s tallest and most efficient onshore wind turbines.

Kype Muir and Kype Muir Extension are set to deliver community benefits equating to more than £770,000 each year made available to surrounding communities.

OnPath Energy, formerly Banks Renewables is the UK’s leading land-based renewable energy developer with a growing portfolio of onshore wind, solar and energy storage projects across the country.

Onpath want to grow in a way that makes a positive contribution to society, for people, business partners, the environment and the communities in which they work.

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