Doncaster school pupils take engineering inspiration from Marr wind farm visit

May 23, 2012 | Community News

Pupils from a South Yorkshire School Academy have been taking a closer look at a new wind farm in their area to help them with a project to build their own turbine.

Around 30 students from Ridgewood School in Doncaster took a tour of the site of the Marr Wind Farm, which is located on land to the west of junction 37 of the A1M, to the north west of the town.

The group, who are studying for GCSEs in engineering and geography, 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 produces energy and how this energy is then transported away to the National Grid and around the country.

Ridgewood has established areas of specialism in engineering and applied learning specialist school, and the visiting engineering students are currently building a small wind turbine as part of their school work, whilst the geography students are undertaking an environmental project.

John Brooks, engineering and technology teacher at Ridgewood School, says: “Having the Marr 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 pupils had a lot of questions to ask about every aspect of the wind farm, and the information we gathered will be extremely useful for our work, especially when it comes to fine-tuning and testing the turbine that the children are building.”

Local councillor Jonathan Wood, who accompanied the class on their site visit, adds: “This development offers an excellent local resource that the pupils can use to bring their classroom learning to life, alongside the funding contributions that it will make to improving the local area during its operational lifetime, and being so close to a working wind farm like this made a real impression on everyone.”

Banks has invested around £10m in the four-turbine Marr Wind Farm.  It has an installed capacity of 8MW, which is enough to meet the annual electricity consumption requirements of around 5,000 homes, and will take around 10,100 tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere every year that would otherwise be released with the production of the same amount of energy by non-renewable means.

An associated benefits fund worth more than £8,000 every year – or around £200,000 across the 25-year lifespan of the wind farm – will enable Banks to deliver a range of community and environmental improvements in partnership with local people, to help ensure tangible, long-term benefits result from the company’s presence in the area.

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at the Banks Group, adds: “The young people who visited the Marr 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 Marr scheme will generate through its lifetime 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 of the country’s energy from renewable sources, and we’re very pleased to have had the chance to show the Ridgewood School pupils how the Marr Wind Farm is contributing to this drive.”

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