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Council’s turbines plans

A school, leisure centre and park and ride scheme could all be used to power public buildings in Fife.

Fife Council has revealed plans for five wind turbines constructed on local authority-owned sites.

The measures are to be detailed to councillors this week and are being advertised as a means of dramatically cutting the council’s energy bills.

Inverkeithing High School, Dalgety Bay Leisure Centre, Halbeath Park and Ride, Cotlands Park in Kennoway and Pitreavie playing fields in Dunfermline have all been earmarked for the 250ft wind turbines.

It is thought millions of pounds could be saved if the plans go ahead.

Fife Council senior sustainability manager Chris Ewing said: “The wind power project is just part of the council’s energy strategy which has been drawn up to help reduce carbon emissions and cut the council’s energy bills.

“The council spent £13 million on energy bills in the last year and projects like this one have the potential to generate income for the organisation at a time of financial challenge.

“But careful consideration has to be given to them at every stage of the process.”

Feasibility studies into the potential development of a number of turbines that would feed all of their power into the grid are also being carried out.

Seasonal ecological work needed to determine the impact on bird and wildlife means complete information may not be available for some of these sites until next spring.

An update on the project is being reported to area committees and members of the executive committee will be asked on September 9 if planning applications can be lodged for the five sites listed.

Councillors on that committee will also be asked for permission to start the procurement process for turbines at two of the council’s landfill sites, Lower MelvilleWood and Lochhead, which have already gone through a detailed study and received planning permission. They will also hear about other sites undergoing detailed feasibility work.

Mr Ewing added: “These five sites were prioritised because they are feasible and the most commercially viable and we’d like if possible to get them to planning application stage so we can take advantage of higher levels of support from the subsidy scheme set up by the Government.

“No final decision has been taken yet and councillors will get the chance to make a decision on the next stage of proposals at the next executive committee.

“If councillors approve, planning applications will be lodged for the five sites and each would then have to go through the detailed planning process as well as additional community consultation.”