Met Office Team To Maximise Wind Power

Weather patterns, and crucially wind speeds, underpin the success for this type renewable energy. The severe gales experienced in Scotland last month coupled with the generally lower than average wind speeds experienced over the last year demonstrate the challenges of wind as a renewable energy resource.

However, the Met Office can make a difference to the success of wind farms from site search and selection, development through to operations with a suite of innovative products aimed directly at the renewable energy sector including: Virtual Met Mast – a site-specific wind analysis model-based tool; and VisualEyes – an intuitive, web-based weather alert system designed in conjunction with the industry to help manage wind farm assets.

Tony Duffin, Regional Manager (South West) for Partnerships for Renewables said: "We have been working closely with the Met Office team using Virtual Met Mast for about two years now and we are very happy with the results. We are confident that it adds value as a routine part of managing wind risk in the development of our sites."

Virtual Met Mast allows businesses and investors to access specially produced wind assessments for both onshore and offshore sites including mean wind speed, wind direction, exceedance values, air density, wind shear and turbulence intensity in advance of a costly met mast installation.

Stephen Norman, Met Office Wind Energy Consultant said: "Virtual Met Mast has demonstrated that it can take into account the variability of the British weather when determining the long term wind climatologies that are fundamental to establishing the return on investment in wind assets."