The university seeking planning permission for a six-turbine development on land it owns in Fife.
St Andrews University has unveiled a plan to build a 12-megawatt windfarm to protect itself against spiralling energy costs.
The university is seeking planning permission from Fife Council to site a six-turbine development on land it owns at Kenly Farm, by Boarhills in Fife.
The move follows three years of research, discussion and consultation with representatives of local communities in Boarhills, Dunino and Kingsbarns.
The Kenly Windfarm is central to the university’s strategy to offset the rapidly rising costs of energy. Although St Andrews has reduced and managed its energy consumption in recent years, rising national and international costs of energy have seen its bills triple since 2005 to £5.4m a year.
Derek Watson from St Andrews University said: “This increase in costs is equivalent to the salaries of up to 120 full-time staff at St Andrews and is a major financial risk for us.
“Doing nothing is not an option. We would prefer to determine our own financial fate, than have it determined for us by the vagaries of international energy markets. Our consumption is on a flat line but we are being charged more and more for it.
“We are encouraged by the Scottish Government’s commitment to renewables and fortunate that we can respond positively to it.”
Research into the wind speeds at Kenly showed that it is possible to generate enough electricity to meet the needs of the university’s energy-intensive scientific operations at the North Haugh, as well as the rest of the institution’s electricity demand.
The renewable energy generated at Kenly, the site of an abandoned Second World War airbase, would be equivalent to the average annual consumption of 8500 typical domestic properties in Fife.
Discussions are continuing with representatives of local community councils about the possibility of the formation of a set of Community Trusts to manage income from the proposed windfarm.
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