A NEW solar farm between Crossgates and Aberdour could produce enough electricity to power 7,700 homes.

That's the pitch from Greentech, who manage and operate similar sites across Europe and have applied to Fife Council for planning permission.

They've identified a site in the countryside – to the east of Elmbank Farm and near the disused Goat Quarry – where they want to establish Billsbrae Solar Farm to harness sunlight and create 'clean' energy.

Planning agents, Arcus Consultancy Services, said: "The estimated number of homes that could be powered by the development across Fife stands at approximately 7,700.

"The development would be temporary with an operational life of 40 years."

As well as rows of solar panels capable of producing 30 mega watts (MW), the plans include a battery energy storage system, inverters and transformers, a substation compound, CCTV cameras, access tracks and new planting.

The solar farm will cover a total area of around 30 hectares and be surrounded by a 2.4 metre high perimeter fence with "minimal" effects on the environment.

Access would be from Mill Farm Road and two existing junctions will need to be upgraded if the council grant permission.

Greentech said the development will create employment opportunities in the construction phase, which is expected to last six months, and provide indirect benefits to companies in the supply chain.

Local MPs, Neale Hanvey and Douglas Chapman, and MSP Annabelle Ewing were consulted about the plans and public exhibitions were held in Crossgates and Aberdour.

The agents concluded: "Billsbrae Solar Farm is an opportunity to provide up to 30MW of low carbon, renewable energy in an appropriate location, whilst enhancing habitats and creating a better, more sustainable use for land that is otherwise not going to be utilised in any significant manner.

"The scale of the site is small when compared with the contribution it can provide to Fife’s, and Scotland’s, energy needs."