A family-run Durham firm is starting work on a breakthrough windfarm - the UK’s first onshore site to have 200m-tall turbines.

Banks Renewables has secured a new funding agreement which means it can build a 15-turbine extension to the Kype Muir wind farm located in South Lanarkshire.

The extension will complement the 26-turbine Kype Muir wind farm, which has been operational since 2019, and they will together have a combined installed capacity of 155MW, which is enough to meet the annual electricity needs of around 112,000 homes.

Around 90 jobs will be supported through the construction of the Kype Muir extension, while contracts worth up to £10m are expected to be available to local suppliers in the surrounding area.

Banks Renewables is one of the UK’s leading independent owner/operators in the onshore wind sector and has developed 12 onshore wind farms over the last 15 years – four in Yorkshire, three each in Scotland and the North East and two in the North West.

Its head office is in Meadowfield, Durham and it has other bases at Ferryhill and in Leeds.

The family business is also progressing plans to build a further onshore wind farm in Scotland, at Lethans in East Ayrshire, and is looking to deploy the same technologies at a number of new sites around the UK.

In the company’s last financial year, the ten schemes that the business currently owns generated almost 645,000 MWh of green electricity between them - enough to meet the annual electricity needs of a city the size of York.

Richard Dunkley, managing director at Banks Renewables, says: "This is a landmark project for both ourselves and the wider Scottish renewable energy sector as we continue to increase our contribution to the UK’s journey towards Net Zero and COP26.

“The Kype Muir extension will be the first site in the UK to use highly efficient 200m turbines and will have an average output per turbine of 15GWh per year, compared to an average of 9GWh per annum on the existing Kype Muir turbines. Onshore wind represents the best value for money to consumers as we continue to bring forward new renewable energy developments that support Net Zero and climate change obligations."