IT could be the way ahead for schools of the future – providing their own power from a windfarm.
Cork County VEC and Macquarie Partnerships for Ireland, have submitted plans for two 20-metre high wind turbines which will supply power for a new multi-million euro primary and secondary school in Bantry.
Noel O’Connor, chairman of Cork County VEC, said the development was the first of its type in the county. He said he hoped it would become a blueprint for all new schools.
"Over the years the VEC have been discussing using green energy as much as possible," Mr O’Connor said.
He said the two wind turbines should be able to make the schools self-sufficient in energy.
"We may even be able to reach a point where such small windfarms will generate excess electricity which they will be able to sell onto the national grid."
Construction is expected to begin in the spring for the schools which will accommodate more than 900 pupils.
Bantry Community College will facilitate 700 students arising from the amalgamation of St Goban’s College and Árdscoil Phobal Bheanntraí, while Gaelscoil Bheanntraí – a new eight-classroom primary school for 228 pupils – will be built on the site.
The VEC is also encouraging all schools to harvest rainwater in barrels.