Budding young Yorkshire artists set to make their mark at Penny Hill wind farm

June 11, 2014 | Community News

Budding young south Yorkshire artists are being given the chance to make their mark on the local landscape by having their work displayed on the base of a wind turbine.

Renewable energy developer Banks Renewables is organising a competition for local schools to design pieces of art that could be transferred onto each of the six turbines at Banks’ Penny Hill wind farm, which sits to the south east of Rotherham and west of the junction of the M1 and M18.

And competitors will also have the chance to name each of the turbines, with the winning entries also being placed on the base of the turbines.

More than a dozen of the primary and secondary schools that are closest to the wind farm have been invited to take part in the competition.

A shortlist of entries will be drawn up in June by a judging panel which will include local councillors and members of Banks’ Penny Hill project team, with the winning designs unveiled at a special event at the wind farm in July.

The children will all get to take a tour of the Penny Hill site, and will be finding out more about how the wind farm was built, how electricity is generated by the turbines and how it is transported away to the National Grid and around the country.

Banks organised a similar initiative last year at its nearby Marr wind farm, which sits to the north west of Doncaster, and is looking to replicate the success of a competition which saw artworks created by children from Mexborough School and Gooseacre Primary School in Thurnscoe transferred onto the four turbines at Marr.

Lewis Stokes, development relations coordinator at The Banks Group, says: “We had a terrific response to our Marr competition, and wanted to give young people living in the communities around the Penny Hill wind farm a similar chance to express their artistic talents in a unique location that has quickly become part of the local landscape.

“As well as putting their ideas forward, the children taking part in this project have the chance to learn more about a range of environmental topics, and we’re excited to see what ideas our entrants come up with over the next few weeks.”

Brad Johnson, Carbon Reduction Officer for Rotherham Borough Council, adds: “Young people across the Borough get the opportunity to learn about the significant energy issues we face as a society and the value of energy through our Low Carbon Schools programme.

“Energy, and renewables in particular, often capture the imagination of our youngsters, and the Penny Hill competition is a unique opportunity for them not only to visit a working wind farm, but to understand how they were built and how they work. The children will have contributed names and artwork, which will be displayed on the base of the turbines for years to come.

“Penny Hill not only generates renewable and clean energy, but also acts as an excellent local educational resource to remind us about the importance of saving energy and decarbonising our supplies.”

The six-turbine Penny Hill scheme began generating renewable energy last year, and is now making a significant contribution towards meeting Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council’s renewable energy targets.

The benefits fund associated with the wind farm, which will be worth over £750,000 across its 25-year lifespan, is already enabling Banks to deliver a range of community and environmental improvements in partnership with local people.

Organisations which have received grants from the Penny Hill community benefits fund so far include the Maelstrom Explorer Scouts, who used a £1,000 grant to replace and upgrade their ageing stock of tents, and the Ulley Millennium Trust, who have resurfaced the car park at Ulley Village Hall using a £5,287 donation from Banks.

Lewis Stokes continues: “The young people who will be involved with this project are part of the generation that will need to meet the challenge of producing the energy that we all consume from new, diverse, indigenous and environmentally responsible sources in addition to the traditional ones we’ve used for the last century.

“As well as generating renewable energy that will help meet this challenge, the Penny Hill scheme is also already providing new funding for community projects that will make a real difference to the local area for decades to come.”

For more information on the project please click here

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