The University of St Andrews has recently applied to Fife Council to renew wind turbine planning permission for the windfarm in Kenly. The University was given planning permission in 2013 to build a windfarm consisting of six wind turbines at Kenly, which is estimated to generate 12.3MW of electricity and save over 9,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. This was a key initiative in the University’s response to the climate crisis.
The new application is effectively lobbying for a continuation of the planning permission granted in 2013, which had strict conditions stating that construction of wind turbines could only start once an agreement has been reached with the Ministry of Defence (MoD). This was to ensure that the turbines did not interfere with the radar systems at the former RAF air station at Leuchars.
The University claims that despite numerous repeated and high-level attempts by the University to explore solutions, the MoD has consistently declined to engage and refuses to negotiate to find a way forward.
St Andrews Quaestor and Factor Derek Watson said, “The University has set a goal to become carbon neutral for our energy use and the award-winning biomass plant at Eden Campus and Kenly are essential elements in achieving that aim.
“The windfarm at Kenly would save 9,000 tonnes of carbon per year, enable the University to comply with its duty under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, secure energy pricing into the future freeing up funding for world-class teaching and research and enable St Andrews to become self-sufficient for electrical energy.
“We are fully committed to our plans for Kenly, which have already won approval from Scottish Ministers, and will continue to work to put in place the consents necessary to allow building work to go ahead quickly in future, if a radar mitigation solution is found.
“This project will safeguard local jobs, cut carbon emissions and help protect world-leading research in St Andrews.”