In Deux-Sèvres, middle school students discover behind the scenes of the Fomperron wind farm: “It’s impressive”

Cows, fields and wind turbines in the countryside. In Fomperron in Deux-Sèvres, there are four of them overlooking the air. They measure around a hundred meters in height and no longer hold any secrets for the students of the Maurice Fombeurre college in Ménigoute. 34 middle school students visited the Champvoisin wind farm this Thursday, May 23 for the second edition of Génération Transition. In particular, the students went inside a wind turbine to discover how it works and become aware of the issue of renewable energies.

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“We’re not used to seeing that”

Before starting the visit, the middle school students put on a safety helmet and an orange chasuble. Once equipped, the teenagers climb a ladder to access the platform. “Come on, come closer.”tells the students Thibault Hallu, wind engineer, before explaining: “Here, we are connected to the network in Saint-Maixent-l’École, we have an electric cable which passes under the road and which takes us to the town”.

The students went inside a wind turbine to discover how it works © Radio France
Justine Claux

Milan, a third-grader, looks at the control cabinet and the safety harnesses. “It’s impressive because I’ve never been inside a wind turbine, it’s a first, we’re not used to seeing that normally”, he says. Mathis, his friend, also learns a lot thanks to the visit. “I remembered that wind turbines shut down at night to protect wildlife, for example bats”he explains.

“Wind turbines spoil the landscape”

During the visit, Thibault Hallu also tries to raise awareness among young people about renewable energies. “The idea is to get away from fossil fuels, to no longer be dependent on them because they pollute, particularly because of greenhouse gases, this takes us towards situations which risk being complicated in the long term. ‘future”explains the wind engineer at the electricity producer RP Global to the teenagers.

Wind engineer Thibault Hallu tried to raise awareness among middle school students about renewable energies
Wind engineer Thibault Hallu tried to raise awareness among middle school students about renewable energies © Radio France
Justine Claux

But his arguments struggle to convince some college students, the subject of wind power is sometimes sensitive. “It’s good but a lot of people say that wind turbines spoil the landscape, and I think we should listen to them”, estimates Enzo, third grader. Proof of these reluctances: the Fomperron wind farm project took around ten years to see the light of day, the time to convince local residents and obtain all the authorizations.

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