Six more turbines could be added to Little Raith

Little Raith Wind Farm.
Little Raith Wind Farm.

Plans to extend Little Raith Wind Farm have been submitted to Fife Council this week.

The wind farm, near Lochgelly, currently consists of nine turbines and is owned and operated by Kennedy Renewables.

However, the proposed extension will see another six turbines with 126.5m to tip hight located on site.

Kennedy Renewables announced its plans to extend the wind farm in November 2013 and held consultations with members of the public and statutory consultees.

A seventh proposed turbine was originally to be loccated closer to Auchtertool, however the company took the decision to remove it from the plan after a review showing that it appeared isolated compared to the rest of the scheme.

The planning application also includes proposals to build an education and visitor centre at Little Raith Wind Farm which will allow local schools, colleges, universities and community groups to visit and learn more about the commercial wind farm and how a wind farm operates.

This facility will be funded entirely by Kennedy Renewables who will employ a community engagement manager to manage the facility and ensure that all who wish to visit the site can do so free of charge.

The existing wind farm currently pays £49,500 per annum to the Four Winds Development Trust (FWDT) who manage the funds on behalf of the community councils in Cowdenbeath, Lochgelly, Lumphinnans and Auchtertool.

Since the wind farm has been in operation the FWDT have awarded over £26,000 of grants to local community groups in each of the communities, including Lochgelly Women’s Social Group and Auchtertool Youth Club.

If permission is granted for the extension the community benefit fund would be increased by up to a further £96,000 per annum.

Separate to the community benefit fund, Kennedy Renewables is working closely with Fife College to ensure that the wind farm assists the Fife economy, providing funds to set up The Kennedy Renewables Educational Fund.

Jonny Kennedy, managing director said: “We are extremely proud of Little Raith Wind Farm and the warm welcome that we have received in Fife since the wind farm started operating in November 2012.

“We are committed to Fife and we are glad to see the community benefit fund being used by the local communities that we neighbour to fund initiatives that otherwise would be unsupported.

“We have already invested over £20m in the Fife economy by building Little Raith Wind Farm and our community benefit fund will invest £1.25m in the local communities over the next 25 years. If approved the extension will allow us to further invest in the Fife economy and into our community benefit fund. We are committed to this programme.’’