Page last updated at 16:27 GMT, Friday, 1 February 2008

School to produce own electricity

Ysgol y Traeth
The school could potentially produce up to half its electricity

A primary school in Gwynedd is looking to produce its own electricity, after an idea from the pupils themselves.

Technology classes at Ysgol y Traeth in Barmouth have been working on the project and with the help a parent, a £40,000 grant has been secured.

The town council has already been shown the plans, ahead of an application to Gwynedd Council.

Town mayor Robert Williams said he was against the plan for a wind turbine, but supported the solar panel idea.

Teacher Richard Jones said: "We have been an eco-school for the past couple of months and as part of that the children noticed we were using a lot of electricity.

"After they noticed this, we did some work with the help of one of the parents, and discovered that we should be able to produce around 55% of our electricity annually - which is around a £1,000 worth," he added.

People living nearby are worried about it
Robert Williams, mayor of Barmouth

The planning application should go in to Gwynedd Council next month, although children at the 190-pupil school have already been doing work on the project in their technology lessons.

Ian Draisey, the parent who helped on the project, has two pupils at Ysgol y Traeth and works with Dulas, a renewable energy company based at Machynlleth, Powys.

He said that grant funding for the project had been secured from various sources including the Snowdonia National park.

"At the moment we are looking at various wind turbines as it is important to find out about noise and also the visual impact," he added.

The town mayor said he was in favour of saving energy, but was not in favour of the wind turbine.

Robert Williams said there were worries it would be higher than any other structure in the area around the school, which was largely residential.

"People living nearby are worried about it," said Mr Williams.

"Personally I'm against the wind turbine because of the height, although the rest of the town council were in favour.

"We did not take a decision on it however as we are still waiting for feedback about the level of noise which might be produced," he added.

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