Case Study: Shirebrook

Shirebrook Academy in Mansfield which is part of Aston Community Education Trust decided to invest in their pupils’ future by totally rebuilding their renewable energy system.

7th December, 2020

They opted for a full refurbishment package of their Endurance E3120 wind turbine which generates power to offset the school’s energy consumption.

In early 2020 Natural Generation were chosen to conduct an onsite inspection. It was determined that the bedplate was cracked and needed replacing. Natural Generation were then selected to undertake the E3120 refurbishment and subsequently became their O&M provider.  

The whole nacelle was shipped to our workshop where the installation of the Gale Force Design bedplate upgrade began. Once the job was complete along with a shaft upgrade and a full multi-point health check, the turbine was ready to be reinstalled at Shirebrook Academy.

Once installed, the turbine was up and running in no time and the school’s consumption was being offset by green energy once again. The next generation of young minds can rest assured that their school is being powered by renewable energy and that Natural Generation are remotely monitoring their turbine 24 hours a day to keep the classrooms powered.


We spoke with Andy Watson, Premisses Manager at Shirebrook Academy:

What was the deciding factor for you choose Nat Gen to undertake the E3120 rebuild?

Having carried out numerous condition reports and surveys it was extremely apparent that the E3120 located at our Shirebrook Academy had key structural issues that needed urgently addressing to continue with safe generation. Having reviewed possible contractors to carry out the significant repairs and upgrades, it was clear to the Trust that Natural Generation not only had the detailed bespoke product knowledge of the E3120, but also had the in house skills and resources to not only complete the identified faults, but they were also able to suggest key upgrades to the turbine to address known wear and failure points. They have a large number of E3120 turbines operating within their asset base which has enabled Natural Generation to build a wide unique portfolio of suggested upgrades to address known failure and design flaws within the machine. These upgrades incorporated in the rebuild will not only give the Trust an extension to the efficient operational period of the E3120 but most importantly they will give peace of mind that the turbine has been returned to better than original specification and is operating safely.

What impressed you the most about how we work?

The engineering team, site technicians and customer service team gave clear information and fixed time frames to safely and methodically strip the turbine, take it to their premises, repair/ upgrade it and then return the turbine to site and reassemble it. Throughout the refurbishment regular and detailed information was supplied on all aspects of the work being undertaken with regular cost breakdowns to allow informed decisions to be taken by the Trust with regard to the repair. 

How important is renewable energy to Shirebrook Academy?

It is no longer a debate regarding what level of negative impact climate change is to have on our current generations and generations moving forward.  Renewable energy and how we deliver that energy is vital and utmost on the Trust and Shirebrook Academy's agenda. It is therefore key to see the E3120 working at its highest possible potential. The generation/ administrative software installed as part of the rebuild, provides clear data and updates to enable staff, students and stakeholders alike to keep track on their academies contribution to support the renewable challenge.