Thistle Wind Partners (TWP) have what they believe to be the world’s first theatrical play by an offshore wind developer as part of a drive to improve the public debate on energy.
Entitled Impossible Engineering?, the play stars Scottish actors of the stage and screen Stuart Falconer, Kit Laveri and Harrison MacNeill.
TWP, which is developing the Ayre and Bowdun offshore wind farms off the coasts of Orkney and Aberdeenshire, will debut the show at the Orkney International Science Festival (OISF), taking place in Kirkwall from 7th – 13th September.
One of the world’s oldest science festivals, OISF attracts people from all over the world, selling 12,800 tickets in 2022.
The play is taking place at the St Magnus Centre on Saturday 9th September in three performances (free tickets at oisf.org/tickets).
Kit Laveri plays Goddess of the Wind Zephyra, who whisks engineers James Watt (Stuart Falconer) and Archimedes (Harrison MacNeill) through space and time to an offshore wind turbine. Much debate ensues with a live experiment for audience members to design and test their own floating wind turbine.
TWP plans to roll the play out throughout Scotland over the coming year and says there is a serious purpose to this unusual approach to community and public engagement.
Project Director Ian Taylor explained:
“Many ScotWind projects are now entering the public consultation stage, where we need to explain how our offshore wind farms will connect to the national grid, requiring onshore infrastructure in most cases.
“The process of how we develop wind farms and the need to upgrade the grid network is complicated – we need to try harder to explain how this works to the wider public. Their support for ScotWind cannot be taken for granted – it is on us and policymakers to demonstrate why ScotWind is needed, the economic opportunities it will bring, and refocus debate on the urgent need to transition away from fossil fuels.
“ScotWind is a global milestone in the journey to Net Zero, and the world is watching as Scotland forges engineering firsts in areas like floating wind, green hydrogen and storage. With this comes innovative technology development, the chance to create goods and services for home and export markets, and good-quality jobs for many generations to come. We need to capture people’s imaginations and put ourselves forward to be challenged in public debate too.”
TWP is one of four ScotWind Developers supporting the early-years STEM outreach programme led by the University of Highlands and Islands in schools across Scotland.
• Impossible Engineering? is showing at the St Magnus Centre on Saturday 9th September at 10am, 12.30pm and 3pm (duration: 40 minutes approximately).
• Johan Daelman presents on the future of floating offshore wind at the Phoenix Cinema, Pickaquoy, Kirkwall on Thursday 7th September at 11.30am – 12.30am.