A HAMILTON-based developer is gearing up to provide West Fife with a surge of green energy with proposals for a new wind farm near the village of Kelty.

Banks Renewables is in the early stages of designing a wind farm development comprising up to five turbines in the Hilton Farm area, to the east of Kelty and the north of Cowdenbeath.

Should plans go ahead the wind farm could generate up to 10MW of energy, powering more than 5500 homes in Fife, which the firm say could displace up to 11,300 tonnes of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere that would otherwise be released if this electricity was produced from fossil fuel power generation.

Colin Anderson, director at Banks Renewables (right), said, "We've identified Hilton Farm as having excellent potential for a wind farm due to the good wind resource, grid connectability and potential for the landscape to accommodate a sensitively designed development.

"Our assessment is, however, at a very early stage. All our projects are heavily influenced by local opinion and therefore the vital first step in the design process is getting positive dialogue going with local people and community groups. "This ensures that their views are taken into account from the very beginning.

"We have already had initial discussions with the community councils and will be seeking their advice on how best to get local people's views on the proposals going forward.

"We do, however, actively encourage local residents and local businesses to come directly to us with their comments and suggestions at any time.

"In addition, we expect to be holding a series of public exhibitions in the coming months to provide further opportunities for people to discuss the proposal with us." He added, "We will be carrying out a range of detailed environmental assessments including ecological and ornithological surveys over coming months and feedback from these will be passed to the communities and will shape the design process.

"It is exciting that we've already had some really interesting ideas put to us about how the proposals could help deliver local environmental improvements and support existing initiatives.

"The lack of employment and training opportunities has also been highlighted as a key issue locally and as a result we are already considering how we could support dedicated educational and training schemes for local people.

"Hopefully, we can build on all of these ideas and come up with a really exceptional proposal to take forward into planning and that in time will deliver long-lasting benefits for this area of Fife." As part of the planning process, an application has been submitted to Fife Council to erect an 80-metres test mast on the site.