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Pentland Firth tidal power facility gets weather station

A new solar powered Automatic Weather Station (AWS) is set to go live on the Isle of Strome, Pentland Firth, which will help map tidal and other marine energy conditions.

As the Environmental Research Institute's (ERI) new facility, the AWS will provide previously unavailable regular data on wind speed, wind direction, pressure, precipitation, humidity, UVB and air temperature that will enable safer and more accurate trials in the Pentland Firth by companies keen to harness its tidal power.

Professor Stuart Gibb, Director of ERI, says: “Twice a day the tide surges through the Pentland Firth from the Atlantic to the North Sea and back again. These dynamic waters are now attracting world-wide attention as a prime site for the development of the marine energy sector.

"This new weather station will give us a much better picture of the conditions in the area on an hourly basis. This in turn will be an excellent aid for research and also safety, as people can better judge when their activities take place there.”

The tidal project, located in between Scotland and the Orkney Islands, began construction in October 2009 and tidal power system trials were completed in early September of this year.

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Wave and tidal energy