RWE has joined forces with Tees Valley Education (TVE), a Teesside primary school trust to launch a series of educational resources to teach students about renewable energy, and to prepare for the North East’s predicted growth as one of the UK’s leading offshore wind energy hubs.
The five-school multi-academy trust has linked with RWE’s Sofia Offshore Wind Farm to create and then test a series of offshore wind teaching resources that are available online for teachers and others with an interest to download and use.
The Sofia offshore wind farm will be located 195 kilometres from the North East coast on Dogger Bank in the central North Sea, with its offshore cable coming to land between Redcar and Marske-by-the-Sea and a new onshore converter station now under construction adjacent to the Wilton Complex, near the village of Lazenby.
Two of TVE’s primary schools – Wilton and Dormanstown – are in the vicinity of the project’s onshore infrastructure and so have a natural link with the wind farm.
The resources, developed by Spark Tees Valley, a company specialising in developing cultural capital for children in the Tees Valley, include: three engaging videos narrated by local youngster Billy; Google Earth maps highlighting renewables projects around the world, as well as teacher sessions to give students experience in planning a wind farm and science investigation techniques.
Matthew Swanwick, Project Director Sofia at RWE said: “Offshore wind will be a key sector for Tees Valley in the coming decade, with Sofia being just one of the many developments set to create jobs and economic benefits in the area. Through our work with Teesside schools, we want to ensure local young people are best placed to be able to take advantage of the opportunities that will be happening right on their doorstep.”
Tees Valley Careers, an initiative launched by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, has also been supporting the project. Mayor Houchen said: “We’re creating the good-quality, well-paid jobs of the future at Teesworks, with the aim of leading the UK in clean energy and offshore innovation. Our children are never too young to learn of the exciting careers they can have right here, and I hope this project and these materials inspire generations to come across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.”
Katrina Morley, TVE Chief Executive Officer said “Recent announcements about Teesside’s successful freeport bid and development plans for Teesworks show that the green energy sector is set to boom in Tees Valley so we want to make sure our children know about the opportunities and are ready to take part in our region’s exciting future,”
The resources will continue to be developed over time, and the first set of materials is already available on the Tees Valley Careers primary resource toolkit and Sofia Offshore Wind Farm website. Work to prepare for the construction of Sofia’s onshore converter station is now underway on the site adjacent to Wilton International, near Lazenby Village with activity to take around four years and completion scheduled for 2025.
RWE is one of the leading players in offshore wind, with Sofia the largest offshore project in it’s global fleet. The 1.4 gigawatt (GW) project is 100% RWE-owned and represents a total investment of approximately £3billion. Onshore enabling works started in June this year and offshore construction is set to begin in 2023. Final project completion is expected by the end of 2026.