Renewable energy firm develops young minds

January 24, 2013 | Community News


Students at an East Ayrshire school were given unique insight into the world of wind farm development after we paid them a visit.

Geography students at Cumnock Academy were given a presentation on Land Use by Callum Whiteford, one of our development relations coordinators, helping them prepare for their upcoming exams and allowing them to further understand the processes involved in selecting a suitable wind farm site. 

30 students aged between 15 and 16 took part in the presentation on Thursday November 15 which featured a hypothetical case study as well as interactive team work and group activities, all designed to aid their studies.

June Tripney, PT Geography and Modern Studies teacher, said: “The presentation given by Callum was fantastic – it was engaging and clear and you could see that he had the whole class’s full attention throughout.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for the students to have access to a part of the Banks team, who can explain to them the processes involved in detail and as a teacher it was great for me to see all of the students so engaged.

“It was also great for the students to be given the opportunity to pose any questions they had about the wind farm developments found locally, and Callum was open and approachable to any and all of the students’ queries.”

We operate a development with care approach and are well known for extensive community involvement in and around the sites we develop.

In East Ayrshire we are developing plans for two separate sites, at High Cumnock and at Lethans Forest, which between them could generate enough energy to power up to 127,200 homes.

Both proposed sites are on forested land to the east of Cumnock; the Lethans site proposes up to 39 turbines at a height of up to 140m and the site at High Cumnock proposes 8 turbines each up to 132m high.

As well as providing valuable information and assisting the students with their studies our visit also gave the students an opportunity to pose any questions or queries and express any thoughts, which they might have had about the proposed wind farms in their area.

Callum Whiteford, development relations coordinator at Banks Renewables, said: “It was great to work with the students at Cumnock Academy and share the real life experiences faced by wind farm developers and I was delighted by their response to it.

“It is important for young people to have access to someone who makes a living in the area in which they study, giving them a chance to pose questions and get answers, which they may not usually be able to have access to.

“The class was hugely receptive to the presentation and group work and hopefully Banks Renewables can build upon this relationship and provide additional educational support both at Cumnock Academy and other schools in the communities in which we operate.

“Renewable energy is the energy of the future and by investing in the young talent present in our schools today, we can hopefully educate them on the benefits it brings, as well as help inspire future career choices.”

A key objective of the proposals at High Cumnock and Lethans is to create and support employment opportunities, specifically through targeted apprenticeship and training schemes to help give school leavers a route to long term employment.

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