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Turbine power takes off in Ballykeel

Tuesday 9 Dec 08

 
If you go through the Ballykeel area of Ballymena today, you can’t fail to notice the new wind turbine at the primary school.
 
This recently installed renewable technology has been set up to help reduce Ballykeel Primary School’s energy bills and to further enhance its environmentally-friendly status.
 
The 6kW Proven Wind Turbine on a 15 metre free-standing mast stands in the school grounds. This turbine, jointly funded through NIE’s SMART programme and the Low Carbon Buildings Programme, is expected to produce 4,500 units of electricity and to save the school around £750 annually on electricity bills. Any additional energy that the turbine produces will be sold back to the grid.
 
Gwyneth Scott from NIE Energy who visited the school last week to see the new installation said, “This is the first wind turbine which has been funded through NIE’s SMART programme but we hope that it will be the first of many. Northern Ireland has great potential for wind generation and it’s nice to see schools being some of the early adopters of this technology.”
 
In recent years schools have become enthusiastic adopters of renewable energy, demonstrating a range of sustainable energy solutions such as solar, wind, biomass and geothermal. We look forward to continuing our work with the Education Boards to promote renewable energy alternatives in schools throughout Northern Ireland.”
 
Jonathan Fisher, vice-principal at Ballykeel Primary School said, “We felt that it was extremely important to set an example to our pupils and the local community by embracing a renewable ‘clean’ energy. Not only is the turbine a very ‘obvious’ sign that we are taking steps to be greener but there is an output display panel inside the school which shows pupils the amount of electricity being produced at any time. Pupils are therefore able to collect, monitor and use the data produced and many classes have already started project work on renewable energy.”
 
Robert McCreery, Energy and Environmental Officer for the North Eastern Education and Library Board says the Board is committed to reducing C02 emissions and has been introducing renewable energy technologies where possible in properties throughout the area. "With the valuable support this year from NIE, we have installed solar panels at several schools in the North Eastern area as well as Ballykeel’s wind turbine. The Board is doing something positive for the environment by substituting the burning of fossil fuels with renewable technologies. The schools benefit environmentally through a reduction in C02 emissions and they will also see savings on annual energy costs."
 
To find out more about saving energy and renewable energy solutions for your home, school or business check out the NIE Energy website www.nie-yourenergy.co.uk, the EST website www.est.org.uk, or call the Energy Saving Trust on freephone 0800 512 012.