Children at a County Durham primary school are set to make their mark on the turbines of a nearby wind farm.
Children from Heighington Primary School were invited by local employer Banks Renewables to put their ideas forward for illustrating the bases of the six 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 will be revealed at a special open day on Thursday 5 July at the wind farm site, which sits to the north east of Barmpton, in front of some of their classmates, as well as teaching staff and other community representatives.
The open day is being 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.
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: “The Moor House wind farm has been operating well for the last 18 months and the feedback we get is that it has become an accepted and admired part of the local landscape.
“We’re excited to see what designs the Heighington children come up with for the turbine bases, as well as to give them the chance to learn more about how the Moor House scheme generates safe, clean and sustainable electricity.
“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, Bishopton, 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 views 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.