December 15, 2011 | Community News
Pupils from a South Yorkshire primary school have been taking a closer look at how energy is going to be generated by a new wind farm in their area.
Around 50 children from Millhouse Primary School in Barnsley took a tour of the site of the Hazlehead wind farm, which is located on formerly derelict brownfield land to the west of Barnsley between the villages of Crow Edge and Carlecotes.
The pupils, who are in Years Three to Six, were accompanied by Lewis Stokes and James Connelly of developer Banks Renewables, part of the Banks Group, who explained how the wind farm was built, how it will produce energy and how this energy will then be transported away to the National Grid and around the country.
The school has been looking at a range of environmental topics this term, and the visit will form the basis of a number of different classroom activities, from the younger pupils recounting their visit in literacy lessons to the older ones making models of different types of renewable energy schemes.
Matt Ritchie, assistant headteacher at Millhouse Primary School, says: “Having the Hazlehead wind farm on our doorstep gives us a great chance to get a close look at some of the things we’ve been talking about in the classroom, and everyone had an extremely interesting and enjoyable day on the site.
“The things we saw and information we gathered will be extremely useful for our work for the rest of the year, and the children are very pleased to have had this chance to visit an actual wind farm.”
Banks is investing around £10m in the three-turbine Hazlehead wind farm. It has an installed capacity of six megawatts, which is enough to meet the annual electricity consumption requirements of around 3,400 homes.
The turbines were installed on site in September, and Banks is aiming to have the wind farm fully operational and connected to the National Grid before the end of the year.
A community benefits fund worth around £150,000 in total will run alongside the wind farm during its operational lifetime, and will provide support for community groups, voluntary organisations and environmental projects to help ensure the Hazlehead Wind Farm provides a long-term positive impact on the area.
Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at The Banks Group, adds: “The young people who visited the Hazlehead site are part of the generation that will need to meet the challenge of producing the energy that we all consume from sources other than the traditional ones we’ve used for the last century.
“Onshore wind farms have a crucial role to play in helping to meet this challenge, and the revenues that the Hazlehead scheme will generate for community projects will also mean that it will make a positive difference to the local area for decades to come.
“Banks is proud to be at the forefront of the drive to produce more the country’s energy from renewable sources, and we’re very pleased to have had the chance to show the Millhouse School pupils how the Hazlehead wind farm will contribute to this drive.”