New figures have revealed that the two North East wind farms that are owned and operated by renewable energy firm Banks Renewables generated enough electricity last year to meet the annual power needs of more than 18,000 homes.

The family-owned firm’s Moor House wind farm to the north east of Darlington and its Lambs Hill scheme to the north west of Stockton generated 56,000 MWh of power during 2019 between them, and by doing so, displaced around 14,150 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the electricity supply network.

And the County Durham-headquartered business is now planning to deploy further renewable energy technologies at sites across northern England with new projects which it hopes to be able to progress in the coming months.

The six-turbine Moor House wind farm led the way by generating 33,700 MWh during 2019, with the four-turbine Lambs Hill scheme producing 22,300 MWh in the same 12 months.

The two wind farms also generated around £40,000 in total for their respective community benefits funds during 2019, which each provide financial support for capital projects being undertaken by groups and good causes in their respective local communities.

The eligibility criteria for the funds have been temporarily changed to allow support to be provided to local community groups responding to issues arising from the coronavirus crisis, with grants worth a total of £6,000 being approved and paid over from the Moor House fund to four local projects in the last three weeks.

Beneficiaries include Age UK North Yorkshire & Darlington, the food bank at the Kings Church in Darlington, homelessness relief project The 700 Club and food redistribution charity The Bread and Butter Thing.

Banks Renewables is one of the leading owner/operators in the UK’s onshore wind sector and has a total of eight operational sites across northern England, with a further two in Scotland and plans for more to follow.

It was also behind the construction of the six turbine West Durham wind farm near Tow Law in County Durham, which it sold to Irish energy utility ESB in 2009.

Richard Dunkley, managing director at Banks Renewables, says: “Moor House and Lambs Hill have been performing well for many years and continue to not only generate substantial amounts of clean green electricity, but also tangible financial benefits for the communities in which they’re based, benefits which have become especially important in relation to the current pandemic.

“We’re currently working on a number of innovative renewable energy projects, including solar energy and battery storage schemes, which will further increase the region’s contribution towards the UK’s ‘net zero’ goals and look forward to working with local communities and authorities as we bring them forward.

“Using the widest possible range of renewable energy generation technologies will allow the UK to decarbonise its power supply and achieve its climate change targets more quickly, while also benefiting British consumers through lower energy prices, and we think there’s a lot more to be done to make this happen.”