MEMBERS of the public can have their say on plans for a huge solar farm opposite Knockhill Racing Circuit, north of Dunfermline.

Spanish firm Grupotec and REG Power Developments from the UK have formed a joint venture for the Nettly Burn Renewable Energy Park which could meet the annual electricity demand for up to 20,000 homes.

If approved, and the final decision will be taken by the Scottish Government, solar panels and battery storage systems would be installed on around 80 hectares of farmland for 40 years.

It would produce up to 80 megawatts of renewable energy a year and there would be also a financial boost with plans for a community benefit fund to be spent "by local people on local projects and initiatives".

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Further details will be available at a public consultation event in the hall of Saline Parish Church, from noon to 7pm, on Thursday March 14.

Dunfermline Press: The site, marked in red, is 125 hectares in size and across the A823 road from Knockhill Racing Circuit. The site, marked in red, is 125 hectares in size and across the A823 road from Knockhill Racing Circuit. (Image: Grupotec / REG Power Developments)

Justin Reid, the project manager for Nettly Burn, said: “This is our first consultation event and we are keen to hear what local residents think of our plans so please come along if you can.”

The site is 125 hectares in total and sits a couple of miles north-east of Saline, across the A823 from Knockhill, and the solar farm would provide clean, renewable energy "even after the sun has set".

Grupotec have built more than 60 solar farms across the UK and said the area is relatively flat, has a low flood risk and consists of "mostly unproductive agricultural land".

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It would be connected to the electricity network, through a substation in Dunfermline, and the batteries are designed to store energy which can be released into the grid at peak times.

The firms explained: "Electricity demand is expected to at least double over the next 10 years as transport and heating switch from fossil fuels to electricity.

"We need to produce new green power as cheaply as possible.

"While onshore and offshore wind is an important part of the government’s plans to achieve net zero by 2050, solar and co-located battery storage is also key and, as a relatively long-established technology can generate power at a lower cost without subsidies, so can help to bring down everyone’s energy bills."

The plans also include a new vehicle access from the A823 and a substation.