The University is seeking a development partner to help build the Kenly wind farm.
A spokesperson for the University said: “The chosen development company will be contracted by the University to design, plan, and construct six turbines at Kenly. They will be paid as contractors, not as University staff. A decision about which partner we would like to work with will not be made until all expressions of interest have been received.”
The 12 megawatt, six-turbine wind farm will be situated at Kenly Farm, around three miles south-east of St Andrews. Expectations are that the hired developer would deliver an operational system by 2016, with the turbines turning by 2017.
According to the University, the construction will give an estimated £22 million boost to the local and national economy.
Though plans for connecting the wind farm to the grid have not yet been resolved, the University hopes that the energy produced will be sent directly to their high voltage network at the North Haugh to powering University labs and buildings. This would most likely involve laying a combination of underground and over-ground cables between the autumn of 2015 and mid-2016.
Excess energy will be sold to the grid, with a proportion going to the local community.
The University’s proposal to build the windfarm was a controversial move, prompting years of debate. Fife Council unanimously rejected the request for planning permission in 2012, forcing the University to appeal to the government to get its plans approved. Permission to proceed was eventually granted in October 2013.
The wind farm is part of the University’s plans to become the world’s first carbon-neutral university, and is predicted to save 19,000 tonnes of carbon per year.
Construction is due to begin in the spring of 2015. A University spokesperson said: “It would have been inappropriate to invite expressions of interest before planning permission was granted and basic scoping completed.
“We are now looking forward to progressing quickly; to maximise the benefits to the University, the local community and beyond.”