PLANS to improve weather data and renewables in the Wee County have been given the green light with equipment to go up at Forth Valley College in Alloa.

The proposals for the weather radar station on the roof of the college building were approved by Clackmannanshire Council in December with the equipment to be housed in a white coloured dome, attached to a telescopic lattice type mast.

The equipment will be using electromagnetic technology to gather weather data including rainfall, cloud systems and wind direction and speeds.

It comes as part of a major collaboration between the college and the University of Stirling to improve weather data in the Wee County, a supporting statement attached to the plans explained.

The statement read: “There is currently no weather radar gathering equipment in the Alloa area.

“The equipment gathers data on weather, cloud systems, rainfall, wind direction and wind speed, etc.

“From Alloa campus the area that the equipment will be capable of covering is hugely beneficial due to the college’s elevated position.

“Surrounding trees won’t have much effect on the gathering of weather data either.

“The data gathered will also allow better planning and more effective utilisation of renewable infrastructure such as wind farms.

“A common issue relates to wind direction, with the turbines often sitting in direct line of each other.

“The first turbine gets unbroken wind and the second has a reduced amount of wind and so produces less power.

“The equipment will provide data to help get the best from renewable assets.”

The proposals were approved under delegated authority and the development must begin in three years.

If the equipment becomes obsolete or redundant, it must be removed.

The college has also been advised that it will require a Radar/DGPS license from Ofcom.

According to planning documents, similar equipment has been installed at Newcastle University where a survey was undertaken by a radiological protection officer.

It was concluded that there is only a health risk within 30cm of the source, which does not extend outside the dome.