Oban High School geography higher students have been getting hands on experience of what goes into designing a wind farm with local wind farm operator GreenPower.
Experts from the independent Scottish owned renewable energy company ran a workshop introducing the class to the key challenges and considerations involved in developing renewables projects. The students were challenged to step into the boots of a wind farm developer and transported to the year 2045 where they were tasked with designing a repowering layout for GreenPower’s existing Carraig Gheal wind farm near Kilchrenan. Using an array of maps and constraint overlays, combined with technical considerations, students designed a layout for their new wind farm. They were then tasked with justifying their chosen layout to a range of ‘key consultees’ representing the interests of the local area, considering the relative impacts of issues such as the climate emergency, land use and ecology.
Fiona Wilson, Georgraphy Teacher at Oban High, said: “A great workshop for higher Geographers, informative, practical and building on knowledge and skill application to higher course. All the kids really engaged in the lesson and had FUN!”
One student described the session as “challenging but enjoyable” whilst another expressed that the workshop had introduced them to “possible career paths”.
Lead Wind Development Manager Sam Layton said: “It was a most enjoyable session and the enthusiasm and commitment of the students to understand the complexity of the development process was very positive. We hope that it inspired students to progress a career in renewables and it was fascinating to see the different approaches each group took along with the different levels of significance they gave to each constraint.”
Recent graduate Eddie Narbett, who recently joined GreenPower as a trainee junior developer, added: “I really enjoyed the session and the feedback from students was inspirational – I know I made the right decision to pursue a career in the green energy industry and I think engaging directly with students like this can further help shape a sustainable future workforce.”