CENTRAL Fifers who invest as little as £250 in fresh air could be in line for a tidy windfall - if a 'green' windfarm next to the M90 at Halbeath goes ahead.

The Kingdom of Fife Community Wind Co-operative scheme would offer locals the chance to own a stake in the windfarm with a possible return to members of 10 per cent.

There would also be an annual trust fund of around £48,000 to be spent on community projects and activities and two information days will be held this month.

Energy4All and Future Spectrum are behind the idea which, if Fife Council agree, would see four 84-metre tall wind turbines standing to the east of the motorway.

The proposed location is the former Keirsbeath opencast site to the north of Crossgates and the turbines, with blades around 41 metres long, would create a capacity of 12 megawatts.

Steve Ruggi, from Future Spectrum, said, "We believe the land has sufficient wind resource to generate enough green electricity to supply the needs of over 6000 homes and to save over 12,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, making a significant contribution to the Scottish Government's climate change targets.

"Should planning consent for the project be granted, we expect that the community co-operative will have several thousand members who are local people living in Fife and, for the first time, gaining economic benefit from the wind resource that exists on their doorstep." He added, "The project will also have a relationship with the sustainable energy skills training programme at Carnegie College, allowing course students direct experience of working turbines." Mr Ruggi said that studies and assessments carried out over the past year had identified "no significant points of concern on any environmental issues" while a meteorological mast had shown that there was "a good wind resource" at the location. There will be public information days at Crossgates Community Centre on Monday 23rd May and at the Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline on Tuesday 24th May between 9.30am and 8pm. Members of the project team will be on hand to answer questions.

Energy4All is a not-for-profit organisation who help communities to own their own renewable projects, while Future Spectrum aim to use renewable energy to tackle climate change and community regeneration.

The West Fife co-operative is being modelled on a Cumbrian wind project, the UK's first and largest community-owned project, entirely run by its 1300 members. There are currently seven similar co-ops across the UK and participation in the co-op starts at £250.