A County Durham primary school could be the first in Britain to be powered by wind energy. But the timetable for the project is in doubt while the County Council searches for a suitable sized turbine. The small school at Cassop was chosen for the pilot project on the strength of its windy location and proximity to County Hall. Around half of the £30,000 funding is to be put up by local utility Northern Electric, with the county council footing the other half. The council wants Cassop to be the first of several schools in the county to be supplied by wind. It had originally planned to meet the school's annual £4,000- 5,000 load by installing a 20 kW machine this year being developed by North Energy Associates. But the NEA turbine will not be ready for production before next year. John Cook from the council fears that money for the project might not be available by then. He points to the dearth of turbines of around 20 kW. "We are stuck at the present time trying to find a turbine to meet our requirements." Garry Jenkins of NEA designed his mains connected turbine with this gap in the market in mind. He claims it will be suited to farmers, small businesses and schools. He expects the prototype to be up and running in the autumn. Meanwhile, Cook's hopes are pinned on Northern Electric agreeing to defer the funding until the next financial year when the NEA turbine should be available.
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