Kids from the Isles of Islay and Jura took to the beach in Bowmore last week to learn all about offshore renewable energy and even built their own floating turbines to put their learning to the test thanks to the team behind the MachairWind offshore windfarm.
The special STEM* education event – organised by ScottishPower Renewables’ MachairWind project team and Fugro, the company carrying out metocean, wind resource and geophysical surveys for the proposed windfarm – proved to be a huge hit with both kids and parents alike.
The fun sessions included interactive discussions and games about wind turbine technology, as well as the chance to build and decommission a small OffshoreWind4Kids kit.
Their feedback comments included:
“I liked the triangle turbine because it had lots of bits on it.” – Rosa (5)
“I was interested in the structure of the turbines because I thought they were all one piece” – Dax (12)
“I like the spinning bit because it turns around fast!”– Louis (5)
“I was surprised how long the blade was and that they had to be lifted by huge cranes when being built, it’s amazing!” – Daniel (11)
“I like two things, the pump on the floating turbine and that the blades can change angle.” – Joseph (9)
“I liked learning about the suction on the foundations.” – Grace (9)
“I like how they use boats to scan the seabed.” – Alba (9)
MachairWind will be developed in the waters north-west of Islay and west of Colonsay. With a proposed generating capacity of 2GW, it could produce enough clean, green electricity to power the equivalent of more than two million homes across the UK.
Deborah Bryce, MachairWind Community Engagement Manager, said: “It was really wonderful to see the kids getting stuck in and having fun. They were fascinated about how wind turbines work and how the clean, green energy they produce gets from these impressive structures out in the water into their homes and powering their lives.
“Feedback from the parents and kids alike was overwhelmingly positive and it was a great way to engage with the local island communities as well as the potential green workforce of the future. A huge thank you to our colleagues from Fugro, MacTaggart Leisure Centre, Islay High School and everyone who took the time to come along and join in!”
Jonathan Ainley, Global Key Account Manager at Fugro commented: “Supporting the communities we work in is important to us at Fugro. We’re grateful to partner with MachairWind to bring this initiative to children across Islay and Jura. Their great questions and enthusiasm for the energy transition was wonderful to see.”