PUPILS from Cross and Passion College in Ballycastle have drawn engineering inspiration from a visit to a Simple Power wind turbine.
The BTEC Applied Science Pupils from Year 13 were given a tour of the company’s single wind turbine at farmer Jim McCord’s farm in Randalstown.
Around 20 students took part in the visit, accompanied by Simple Power’s Philip Rainey, who explained how the wind turbine was built, how it produces renewable energy and how this clean energy is then transported to the grid and around Northern Ireland.
The single 250kW wind turbine visited by the young adults was officially launched by Environment Minister Alex Attwood in October and won a renewable energy planning award in the annual Action Renewable Association Awards.
Mrs Jacqui Kelly, Science teacher at Cross and Passion School, says: “Having the tour of the turbine gave us a great chance to get a close look at some of the things we’ve been talking about in the classroom. The pupils had a lot of questions to ask about every aspect of the wind turbine, and the information we gathered will be extremely useful for our renewable energy studies. It was also useful for the students to see the benefits that developments like this bring to farming families and the rural economy. It made a real impression on everyone and was an excellent opportunity for pupils to bring their learning to life.”
Simple Power’s Philip Rainey said: “It’s inspiring for us to see the interest there is amongst young people in renewable technologies. We believe it’s very important to show students how natural resources like wind are being utilised to create a new electricity market, securing energy supply for the future at an affordable cost while reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment.”
Mr Rainey also talked pupils through the many employment opportunities the growth of renewable energy brings to Northern Ireland; ranging from highly skilled science and engineering roles to careers in construction and maintenance. The students were also introduced to the company’s maintenance and engineering team, who professionally service and maintain its wind turbines.
Simple Power enables farmers and their families to contribute to renewable energy generation, helping the environment while also turning their land into a sustainable and reliable source of income. The locally-founded company, which works in partnership with the farming community, plans to develop a total of 200 medium scale 250kW wind turbines on farms throughout Northern Ireland.