Sharp-eyed regular visitors next season will notice a new bit of kit on the island. On the concrete pad where the original South Horn stood, next to the current South Horn is a LiDAR windspeed measuring machine. It uses laser that is fired up into the sky to record the actual wind speed blowing across the island. It has been put here by a windfarm company Mainstream to assess the wind resource on the island. They wouldn’t accept my assessment of the wind resource that it is “always blowing a hoolie” as they wanted something a bit more specific. So when we had the big winds before Christmas I got them to send through a graph of the windspeed. You can see the wind picking up over time and then suddenly dropping. The graph shows an average windspeed over a 10 min period so it peaked at 30/m per sec which is approx an average of 67 mph. Which means that at times it was gusting a lot more! It should be fun putting real numbers on some of the gales that we get regularly on the island. So watch this space!
The new equipment will be on the island for 2 years before being taken down and removed. The solar panels just power the unit in the winter when access is more difficult because of the seals. They will be taken down by the start of the visitor season.