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Satellite data to help wind farm developers available in 12 months


SATELLITE DATA on wind, wave and sediment behaviour will be available to the offshore wind industry within a year, consultant British Maritime Technology (BMT) said this week.

BMT Renewables is working with several international satellite information service providers to work out how the offshore wind industry can best use their data.

This will result in a series of geo-spatial maps with information on wind speeds, wave behaviour and sea bed profiles.

These will be tested on potential UK offshore windfarm sites.

'Long term changes in the sea bed levels and the wind climate are key issues for developers, ' said BMT Renewables managing director Phil Thompson.

'High integrity data such as this will support both planning and financing applications for developers, ' he said.

Wind speed varies from point to point and satellites can measure it at various altitudes by tracking cloud and wave movements at a datum of about 10m above sea level.

Turbine hubs stand about 100m high and are usually 300m to 800m apart.

'Better forecasting will improve investor confidence and allow us to bridge the reality gap between the government's targets and access to project financing, ' Thompson said.

Planning approval was granted for a £130M, 65 turbine onshore windfarm in South Lanarkshire last week.

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