It was the world’s first grid-connected wind turbine, located at Costa Head to catch the full force of the wind. The steel skeleton was in place at the time of the 1952 hurricane – and survived, though the wind speed broke the recording device at 125 mph. It survived the 1953 hurricane as well and in 1955 began putting electricity into the Orkney grid.
As the 50s went on, the world’s thoughts turned away from wind. But the Costa Head turbine showed what could be done and led the way for subsequent wind developments in Orkney and elsewhere.
Neil Kermode of EMEC looks at its story and significance, while archaeologist Dan Lee traces the clues from the remains.
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