Fakenham school's new wind turbine installed

Chris Hill Fakenham High School's green credentials are flying high again after the successful replacement of the �26,000 wind turbine which crashed to earth last month.

Chris Hill

Fakenham High School's green credentials are flying high again after the successful replacement of the �26,000 wind turbine which crashed to earth last month.

The renewable energy generator was supposed to provide the crowning glory for the eco-school's newly-won Green Flag status when the first installation attempt was made on December 1.

But it caused embarrassment and serious safety concerns when it toppled over and crushed a contractor's van, watched by stunned pupils during their lunch break.


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Now the 15m replacement, erected on Saturday, will finally allow the school to celebrate its environmental achievement.

David Plummer, the school's facilities manager, said: "It went up without a hitch this time, and I am overjoyed to see it in place.

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"It is a great triumph for us and it is a beacon within the school and the surrounding community, showing how we get our pupils to think about the environment."

The original turbine fell while it was being winched into position by Lincolnshire-based firm Gladwood BCS. After the accident, headteacher Richard Moore described it as "a bit of an embarrassment" which would be thoroughly investigated - although contractors said all necessary precautions were observed.

Mr Plummer said the Health and Safety Executive did not request a formal report, but the internal investigation revealed a manufacturing flaw.

"It didn't fit the base properly because of distortion in the manufacture and, while they were trying to fit it, the centre of gravity shifted," he said.

The cost of the turbine was jointly funded by the Low Carbon Buildings project and the Community Sustainable Energy Programme, supported by the Big Lottery Fund.

It is expected to provide 2pc of the school's electricity during its 25-year lifespan.

The electricity will feed the school's main system during the day and the National Grid at night, with exported power credited back to offset against energy bills.

Mr Plummer said Fakenham's Green Flag award recognised recycling and carbon-reduction efforts which had cut the school's landfill waste by 30pc and its energy consumption by 20pc.

The Team Eco student group has also driven initiatives including a reward scheme for staff members who walk to school or cycle between the Field Lane and Wells Road sites. And in April, the school will hold a Big Switch-Off Week, targeting wastage from unused lights and electrical appliances.

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