WORK has begun on the construction of the wind farm electricity generating project which will be sited near Mossmorran.

Kennedy Renewables has commenced construction of the Little Raith Wind Farm, between the gas plant complex and Auchtertool, Fife's first commercial wind farm development.

The renewable energy company started work on-site in the first week of August with Wind Prospect, appointed as project manager and RJ McLeod, the principal contractor. The initial phase of work, up until December this year, will include building roads and infrastructure to the turbine locations and the construction of the substation to enable Scottish Power to energise the site. The project is expected to take approximately fourteen to sixteen months with completion scheduled for October next year, just ahead of the high wind winter season.

Kennedy Renewables is also delighted to announce that the 2.75 megawatt turbines will be supplied by GE Energy, a global leader in power generation and a major supplier to the wind energy industry. The nine-turbine wind farm project at Little Raith, is an exciting addition to Fife's diverse energy industry. The wind farm will have an installed capacity of 24.75 megawatts of green energy, enough to supply power to 14,500 homes which is the equivalent of powering all homes in Cowdenbeath, Lochgelly, Lumphinnans, Auchtertool, Kelty and Ballingry, with energy for a year. This is seen as a significant step in reducing Fife's carbon emissions by 25% by 2013.

The wind farm received planning approval from Fife Council in March 2009 having been identified as a suitable wind farm site.

Kennedy Renewables acquired Little Raith Wind Farm in September 2010 and has committed to contributing to a community fund for use on local projects within Lumphinnans, Cowdenbeath, Auchtertool and Lochgelly community council areas.

The community fund, based on the capacity of the wind farm site, will provide £49,500 each year and £1.23 million over the lifetime of the wind farm to benefit the local community. A working group has been set up to establish the Community Development Trust, which will decide how to allocate the community benefit funds to projects that will enhance the local area. The group, which is made up of representatives from the four nearby community councils, meets on a regular basis and is making good progress towards setting up the Trust.

To ensure that the local communities are kept up to date on the progress of the project, Kennedy Renewables established the Little Raith Wind Farm Community Liaison Committee to inform on the progress of the project and provide an opportunity for opinions and suggestions about the proposals to be expressed by representatives from the nearby community councils as well as local elected members.

Stephen Klein, Kennedy Renewables' chief executive said, "We are very pleased to be on-site to begin construction of Little Raith wind farm and to have secured the wind turbine supply contract with GE Energy. "We look forward, as the wind farm develops, to continue to engage with the Little Raith Wind Farm Community Liaison Committee, to appraise the local community on the progress of the project." Councillor Tony Martin, strategic chair of Fife Council's Environment, Enterprise and Transportation Committee, said, "We are delighted to see the Little Raith development commence.  "The development of the renewable energy sector, and the capturing of the economic opportunities it offers, is of strategic importance to Fife Council and the Fife Economy Partnership.

"This development is a significant and positive milestone for Fife and it takes us a step closer to being the first large region in Scotland to generate the equivalent of all domestic power consumption from Renewable Energy." Local MP, Gordon Brown commented, "Increasing our renewable energy sources is absolutely vital now that the North Sea has passed its peak of oil and gas supply.

"Fife is already a major contributor to the low carbon economy and this onshore wind farm development at Little Raith is another leap forward. "I look forward to seeing local projects reap the benefits of the community fund that is to be put in place that will deliver for communities across the constituency."