STELR in WA – or what I did on my holidays

STELR in WA – or what I did on my holidays

Whilst on a driving holiday around southern parts of Western Australia, I took the opportunity to run a STELR professional learning session in Esperance. The Esperance Anglican Community School has been requesting a session for some years, but unfortunately their remoteness has made it difficult to help up until now. Head of Science, Cheryl Bottrell hosted the session which was attended by a number of teachers who were new to science.

Esperance was home to the first commercial wind farm in Australia, the Salmon Beach Wind Farm that was built in 1987. It comprised six 60kW turbines and ran for about 15 years before being decommissioned, One of the turbines remains in situ as part of the Salmon Beach Wind Farm Heritage Trail an another is part of an outside display at the Esperance museum.
Synergy operates two wind farms in Esperance today with much larger turbines. The first farm built in 1993 has 225kW turbines and the more recent farm built in 2003 has 600kW turbines, showing the advances in turbine technology and capacity. One of the newer turbines can generate more electricity that the entire original Salmon Beach wind farm.

At Esperance Anglican Community School

Decommissioned wind turbine at Esperance Museum


Many of the towns along the southern coast of WA are powered by wind energy. As well as the large  wind farms in places like Albany and Esperance, smaller towns like Bremer Bay and Hopetoun have one or two wind turbines.

Albany Wind Farm

A few days later, I also took the opportunity to pay a short visit to the Kalgoorlie Boulder Community High School. They have recently received a STELR Sustainable Housing class set though support provided by STELR’s principal sponsor, Orica. Jessica Arnold, the WA Territory Manager for Orica, and Larissa Stennett from the Orica Kalgoorlie office also attended (See main photo). Larissa is a past student of the school and was happy to meet her ex-teacher and Head of Science, Aneela Nawaz.