Wind farm plans UK first with £2M apprenticeship scheme

A wind farm developer's plan for a unique apprenticeship scheme have moved a step closer after a council gave an initial thumbs up to a development.

In what it claims is a UK first a collaboration between Adam Smith College and Carbon Free Earlseat the business will create six renewable energy apprenticeships each year.

The new was announced today (August 22) after officials at Fife Council recommended approval for Carbon Free's plans for nine turbines generating more than 20MW of power.

According to Carbon Free it is the first time in the UK renewables industry that a community has benefited in the form of long term apprenticeship training.

Apprentices will be funded by profits from the scheme if councillors on Fife's Planning Committee back their officer's decision and approve the scheme on September 20.

The funding package should amount to some £2M over 25 years, delivering up to 150 apprenticeship opportunities and primarily aimed in the local area.

Carbon Free director, Dominic Farrugia, said: "This wind farm - and the funds that flow from it - will help put Fife firmly on the map as a leading local authority in the renewable industry, and help build a skilled workforce that will attract employers and investors.

"From our extensive consultation with the community, we know there is widespread enthusiasm for the proposed wind farm, and we are hopeful that we will be given the green light by councillors next month."

Adam Smith College principal, Dr Craig Thomson, added: "This apprenticeship scheme will cement the college's role as a key player in helping Fife plug the skills gap and provide employers with a local talent pool.

"Now more than ever the public and private sectors need to work together to provide the right opportunities for those seeking work in renewables."

Each turbine will have a tower height of up to 85m and a blade length of up to 35.5m, giving a maximum tip height of 120.5m, there will also be access roads between the turbines, concrete foundations at each turbine and a small site substation building.

Luke Walsh


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