Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Banks Group investing £20m into wind farms

NORTH East mining and renewable company the Banks Group is to invest more than £20m in two new wind farm developments as it increases its profile in the green sector.

Banks Renewables, part of the Banks Group, secured the largest investment in the renewables market the Co-operative Bank has made to date for the two Yorkshire schemes.

And Banks is now looking at the same project finance model to fund a number of similar projects as it continues its drive to establish itself as a major player in the UK onshore renewables market.

The Durham-based company, which has an annual turnover of £60m, employs around 360 people and operates in the renewable energy, mining and property markets, expects the two schemes to start in the autumn.

Neil Brown, group commercial director at the Banks Group, says: “Securing the largest investment that the Co-operative Bank has ever made in the renewables industry not only represents a validation of the strength of the UK market, but also of the business model that Banks Renewables is following in this area.

“We are committed to becoming one of the UK’s leading owner/operators of onshore wind farms, and the investment model that we have used to secure this funding could provide the template for a portfolio of future sites that we are currently progressing across the north of England and Scotland.”

The three-turbine Hazlehead wind farm is situated on formerly derelict brownfield land to the west of Barnsley, while the Marr scheme comprises four turbines and is located five miles to the west of Doncaster.

When fully operational, the schemes will produce up to 14.4mw of renewable energy between them, enough to meet the annual power requirements of up to 9,000 homes.

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