The first steps of a three-year project to monitor offshore wind began this week with the installation of a mast and associated communication equipment on the small islet Grand Rousse on the outer reaches of the Écréhous.
The automatic weather station is due to become operational by the end of September and will help Jersey’s Met Department find out more about the wind around Jersey’s territorial waters and inform future planning about potential renewable energy sources.
Work to install a second station at Les Maisons some six kilometres from the main island of the Minquiers has been delayed to ensure that terns currently nesting are not disturbed. During the planning process Jersey Met gave an undertaking not to interfere with bird colonies on the reefs, and taking advice from an independent ecologist have agreed to delay the project by a short period to allow time for the young birds to fledge and leave their nests.
As well transmitting information on wind resources in Jersey waters, the data collected will help forecast the weather and improve safety at sea. It is intended information will be published online, allowing mariners to check actual wind conditions before they head out.
Principal Meteorological Officer, Tony Pallot said: “This is an exciting and important project that will provide a number of departments with accurate, up-to-date information, contribute to Jersey’s long term planning for energy needs, and improve the information we can give the public about weather and sea conditions. It’s also a good example of States departments, including the Ports of Jersey (Economic Development), the Department of the Environment, and Transport and Technical Services working in partnership.”