Budding artists at a Darlington primary school have been on site at a local wind farm to see their work unveiled on the side of each of its six turbines.
Children from Heighington CE Primary School were invited by local employer Banks Renewables to put their ideas forward for illustrating the bases of the turbines at the Moor House Wind Farm, which sits near their village, and to also suggest names for each one.
The winning names and designs were revealed at a special open day at the wind farm site, which sits to the north east of Barmpton, in front of some of the chosen artists’ classmates, as well as teaching staff and other community representatives.
The names chosen included Turbo Turner, Mighty May and Njord, while Margaret Megawatt, Blyth and Captain Eco were also on the list.
The open day was organised to give the children the chance to find out more about how wind farms produce renewable energy, as well as to ask members of the Banks Renewables project team about the work that they do.
Christine Kirby teacher at Heighington Primary School, says: “The children really enjoyed their day and loved seeing everything that happens on site – we’ve even had some of them asking if they can go back with their families!
“Seeing the artworks on the turbines made everyone really proud and it’s wonderful to think that it will be there for many years to come.
“The visit tied in with work that the children have been doing in class on the environment and renewable energy, and it was really useful to have the Banks Renewables team available to answer all their questions about how the wind farm works.”
The open day was supported by volunteers from Darlington Bee Keepers Association, who brought their bees along to demonstrate their importance to food production. The children had the opportunity to try local honey, roll beeswax candles and see the benefits that renewable projects can bring to local biodiversity.
The Moor House wind farm generates over 36,476 MW hours of green electricity every year, which is enough to meet the annual energy requirements of more than 9,350 homes, and by doing so, displaces around 12,700 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the electricity supply network per annum.
Since becoming fully operational at the start of 2018, it has delivered over 49.5GW hours of green electricity to the National Grid.
It also provides revenues for the community fund linked to it, from which local groups, environmental projects and voluntary organisations are able to apply for grants of up to £3,000.
Around £15,000 is made available from the fund in support of local community groups, environmental projects and voluntary organisations every year, while the same amount again is available annually to support activities related to employment and training opportunities.
Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at The Banks Group, says: “We were lucky to get bright and breezy weather conditions for our community day, which allowed the kids to see the turbines in action and to show off their artwork in the best possible light.
“The creativity and inventiveness that the Heighington children showed in the art they created and the names that they chose was really impressive, and choosing just six winners was a really difficult job.
“We hope everyone enjoyed their day and learnt lots more about how our turbines turn the wind into the clean green electricity that helps to power their school and homes.
“Modern, efficient, indigenous onshore wind farms such as Moor House are acknowledged as the most popular and cost-effective methods of green electricity production, and help to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by the electricity generation industry.
“The money that the wind farm puts into its community fund is already having a substantial impact on the facilities available for local people, and we’re always keen to get new ideas from local groups about how they think it could benefit their work.”
Local projects and activities located within the communities at Sadberge, Bishopton, East & West Newbiggin, Little Stainton, Great Stainton, Great Burdon, Barmpton and Brafferton, as well as areas of Whinfield, Harrogate Hill, Beaumont Hill and Coatham Mundeville which are north of the A1150 and east of the A167 are eligible to apply for support from the Moor House community benefits fund. Projects in neighbouring areas may also be eligible if they can be shown to benefit people living within the closest communities.
The fund is administered on behalf of Banks Renewables by the County Durham Community Foundation (CDCF) taking into account the recommendations of the Moor House community fund panel which has members appointed by the local parish councils and Darlington Borough Council.
Projects, community groups, or voluntary organisations looking for grant funding from the fund can contact James Eaglesham, the Banks Community Fund manager at CDCF, on 0191 378 6342 or visit www.banksgroup.co.uk/development-with-care/bankscommunityfund/wind-farm-community-fund to check if their group or project is eligible.