By Lynn Schofield, communications manager, Jersey Electricity
AS a Citizen’s Assembly prepares to debate the best course of action to achieve the government’s aim of a carbon-neutral Jersey by 2030, a timely exhibition on climate change and its impact on biodiversity loss launches at an ancient Jersey water mill.
The National Trust for Jersey and Jersey Electricity have joined forces to create an exciting new Climate Hub at Le Moulin de Quétivel in St Peter’s Valley. The hub consists of two floors of informative exhibitions about climate change and two iconic local species – bats and red squirrels – which reside in the nearby woodlands.
It also features a demonstration of renewable hydropower which provides a third of the electricity consumed in Jersey.
The Climate Hub will serve as a venue for the trust’s We Have The Power education programme, led by senior education officer Erin Cowham. Importantly, it provides simple take-away actions that children and their families can do to help curb climate change and conserve our local wildlife.
The exhibition has been funded by JE, which also supports the trust’s education programme. After a summer of exciting activities, last year the trust and JE decided to create the Climate Hub to stage school and holiday educational activities on the We Have the Power programme.
JE further enhanced the display by installing a 1,000-watt generator that converts the energy created by the waterwheel into electricity. This powers a state-of-the-art interactive video and lighting display. The main video is presented by JE summer intern Ryan Bianchi, who led the generator project.
In the film, Ryan explains how large-scale hydropower generates one third of Jersey’s low-carbon electricity supply at the world’s first tidal barrage and power plant on the estuary of the Rance River in Brittany, and how the mill’s own tiny generator harnesses the power of the waterwheel. The video display also features footage from a ‘squirrel cam’ installed in the nearby woods and a video on local bat species and calls provided by the Jersey Bat Group.
JE chief executive Chris Ambler said: ‘We are delighted to be supporting the trust’s highly valued education programme. Climate change and biodiversity loss has never been so important and urgent, as the Citizens’ Assembly gathers to discuss how Jersey can best play its part in addressing the climate issue.
‘While Jersey is different from many countries trying to decarbonise in that we already have a reliable, low-carbon electricity supply, there is so much more we would like to do to support our community. As a company, we want to inspire a zero-carbon future for Jersey and empower our community to play its part in the transition. We hope this new exhibition and accompanying activities will engage and inform all ages and encourage them to join JE and the trust in Jersey’s fight on climate change and biodiversity loss.’
Trust chief executive Charles Alluto added: ‘This exhibition means that not only does Quétivel Mill house Jersey’s only working watermill but it is now also the home of the first local hydro generator. Moreover, by refreshing the existing living mill museum exhibition, the trust has fused the history and future of this remarkable renewable energy source.’
Families will have the opportunity to explore the Climate Hub while participating in a number of exciting events to be staged there this year. Schools are being offered sessions through which they can take advantage of this new learning centre as part of the 2021 prospectus.