Little Raith Wind Farm

Overview

Nevis Environmental worked with Kennedy Renewables on the first commercial wind farm in Fife, at Little Raith.

The site is next to Loch Gelly, known as the Loch of Shining Waters, and has seven wind turbines. They were built on a former opencast coal pit which was backfilled in the late 1970s; the site lies next to the Mossmorran Chemical Works

Kennedy Renewables is a private investor and developer in renewable energy solutions, committed to generating power from renewable technologies to help reduce the world’s carbon foot print.

Challenges

The wind farm development lies next to Loch Gelly nature reserve, and the major challenge here concerned avian ecology; a number of habitats might be lost due to construction work, including those of Pink Footed Geese which come to Loch Gelly yearly from Iceland and Greenland.

Solutions

Nevis Environmental were involved at an early stage in a support role as the construction began at the site. They also carried out detailed water monitoring of boreholes and surface water across the site.

Once the wind farm had been built, Nevis Environmental then took began implementing the habitat management plans, including the planting of trees, hedgerows and installation of bird boxes.  This was followed by bird monitoring in winter and summer across the site, with particular attention to the migrating Pink Footed Geese.

Benefits

This was a situation where the expertise of the Nevis team was matched by their experience in collaborating to find practical solutions.

This was a situation where the expertise of the Nevis team was matched by their experience in collaborating to find practical solutions. The pragmatic approach to the monitoring of the activity of the migrating geese enabled the project to proceed. This was a key benefit for Kennedy Renewables as the RSPB had originally opposed the scheme. The surveys carried out after the wind farm was built allayed some of their fears about the development. The annual reports following further monitoring of the site after construction were used by the developer in their application to extend the windfarm with another four turbines.