It all started when the Gorran School got the bright idea that a wind turbine would solve all their electrical bills while doing some feel good environmentalism. The BBC was ecstatic when they reported on it back in 2008:
A Cornish primary school could soon be almost completely powered by a single wind turbine.
The turbine should be up and running by the end of March
Gorran Primary School on the Roseland, has secured more than £50,000 from different agencies to carry out the work on the 15m (49ft) high turbine.
It should be up and running at the end of March at the school made famous by Anne Treneer’s autobiography The Schoolhouse in the Wind.
The head teacher Matthew Oakley says it should save the school £5,000 a year.
And then, reality came crashing down to Earth:
Wind brings down turbine 02/12/2009 The Newquay Voice
THE eco-dream of a village school turned into a Friday 13th nightmare when high winds destroyed their wind turbine.
Two blades flew off from the 15m tall turbine in Gorran School’s playing field during the bad weather earlier this month. The turbine was part of the school’s £53,000 plan to generate its own electricity,
On the afternoon of Friday, November 13, the school was advised to turn on the brakes to stop the turbine, but the brakes failed, causing two blades to detach in the early hours of Saturday morning.
A concerned parent said: “Thank God it happened when the children were not out on the field. Looking at the size and weight of those rotor blades, I dread to think what would have happened if they had snapped off while they were there.”
This is not the first problem Gorran School have experienced with their wind turbine. Only seven months after it was erected in July 2008 it went on the blink. It was repaired by the manufacturers at the time at no cost to the school, and they were reimbursed for the lost generation while the turbine was not working.
Now today, the company has walked away from the mess according to the Telegraph, and the school has a pile of scrap:
Eco-friendly school left out of pocket after ‘unproven’ wind turbine breaks
An eco-friendly school has been left £55,000 out of pocket after its wind turbine broke – with governors admitting that it was based on “completely unproven technology”.
The company that installed the turbine has gone bust leaving the school with a pile of scrap.
The Gorran School in Cornwall revealed its 15 metre turbine in 2008 which was designed to provide it with free electricity – and sell any surplus power to the National Grid.
The system was seen as a green blueprint for clean, sustainable energy for schools nationwide and received grants from various bodies including the EDF power firm.
But soon after being installed the wind turbine became faulty and after a few months seized up – showering the school’s playing field with debris.
Since then the school has been locked in a battle with suppliers Proven Energy which has now gone into administration leaving the school with little hope of any money being returned – and a pile of scrap in their field.
Having learned nothing in Gorran, they are still at it, from the BBC on August 19th:
19 August 2011 Last updated at 03:31 ET
The turbines at Gorran may be generating power within a matter of weeks
The small community of Gorran in south Cornwall will soon be generating its own energy and exporting surplus to the national grid.
Work to erect two community wind turbines at a cost of £500,000 is well under way.
Community Power Cornwall, a local co-operative, is behind the project.
The organisation has helped the villagers in Gorran to look at its energy needs and developed a renewable energy scheme.
Villager Ella Westland, from Transition Gorran, said clean energy production and low carbon living were “things many villagers have been working towards for a long time”.
Yeah ‘Big Symbol’ alright – of FAIL. Just look at all the FAIL in California.