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Turbine a triumph for real teamwork

PUBLISHED: 13:36 28 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:29 06 July 2010

IT was the culmination of more than two years of hard work.

After a major team effort - and a delay caused by rare bats - the blades finally started turning on a new wind turbine that signifies a "statement of intent" for staff and pupils at a Lowestoft high school.

IT was the culmination of more than two years of hard work.

After a major team effort - and a delay caused by rare bats - the blades finally started turning on a new wind turbine that signifies a “statement of intent” for staff and pupils at a Lowestoft high school.

Back in early 2008, young entrepreneurs at Denes High School set in motion their scheme to generate their own green energy.

And on Thursday last week, it finally reached a conclusion as the 15m-tall Evance Iskra R9000 turbine was unveiled by contractors working for E-On Energy - the first turbine of its kind to be used in a Lowestoft school.

The following day, four of the students involved in the planning application and bid-writing processes - Holly Rowley, Elliott Shilling, Elli Whitaker and Kyle Briggs - were all smiles as they reflected on the success of the project.

Justin Smith, school operations manager, said it was a reward for “hard work and a great deal of patience”.

“For the school it is a statement of intent, an opportunity to illustrate how seriously it takes its future responsibilities in terms of developing plans for sustainable energy usage,” Mr Smith added.

The school hopes the scheme will form part of a long-term project to educate students on energy conservation. Over the next year, energy meters will be used allow the school to better understand its energy usage, and help it to reduce waste.

“The turbine itself will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 4.1 tonnes per year whilst reducing energy bills by around £1,000 or so,” Mr Smith said. “More important perhaps is the legacy it leaves behind - a physical landmark to inspire future generations.”

The Journal revealed last July how bats had been found to be “cohabiting” in the area, prompting concerns that the turbine might affect their flight path. With a full survey of the protected species required, the project was held up until last September.

But after securing a total of £37,000 in grants, the school has now had the new galvanised steel mast erected on a 2.5m concrete foundation to the south of its site - and much more is planned.

“Plans are underway for students to name the turbine and an official launch event to acknowledge partners, funders and other stakeholders will take place in July,” Mr Smith said. “A website is also being constructed in partnership with Poplars Primary School and Lowestoft College to raise awareness of renewable energy and careers in this sector whilst also providing educational resources for students at the school.”

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