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Nonprofit is using new technology in schools to give students a firsthand look at tidal power: 'An important part of our work'

"It gives us a chance to take our story out to local children and young people."

"It gives us a chance to take our story out to local children and young people."

Photo Credit: iStock

Gaming is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you hear "virtual reality," but the technology is now being used to teach students about tidal power.

The initiative was brought to life by the nonprofit social enterprise Menter Môn, which launched the tidal stream energy project Morlais, located in the Irish Sea off the coast of Anglesey, Wales.

Menter Môn explained the project covers over 13 square miles of the seabed near Holy Island and has the capacity to deliver up to 240 megawatts of ocean tide-powered electricity.

Just before World Ocean Day last month, students on the island were given the opportunity to dive deep into the world of tidal energy and also see what life is like for marine animals, according to Renewable Energy Magazine.

Fiona Parry, Morlais' training and skills project officer, teaches students how tidal power can provide pollution-free electricity and reduce the need for harmful, dirty energy sources as part of the school's outreach program. The magazine explained that students also explore sustainability and science by participating in hands-on activities, like constructing their own turbines.

Parry told the publication: "Our school visits are such an important part of our work at Morlais. It gives us a chance to take our story out to local children and young people. We talk about how we will be generating electricity, but also I hope we can inspire them to think about careers in this growing sector."

Since children are the future, outreach programs like Menter Môns' can help kids develop awareness about the changing climate and learn how they can contribute to a cooler, more equitable planet. 

Morlais says it is the largest consented tidal energy project in the world. Once the system is up and running, it has huge potential to transform local economies and communities while benefiting the environment. 

Renewable Energy Magazine reported that the Morlais substation near Holy Island was completed in December 2023, and the first turbines are estimated to be installed off the coast in 2026.

"Importantly tidal energy is low carbon, it is clean and reliable — our aim through this development is to play our part in tackling climate change to ensure we leave behind a legacy we can be proud of," John Idris Jones, director of Morlais, told the Daily Post.

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