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Potential radar interference could halt Scottish wind farm

Potential radar interference could halt Scottish wind farm
May 3, 2013 Amy Sudbury

A seven turbine wind farm has received objections from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) over claims that it would interfere with an Air Traffic Control (ATC) radar.

The wind farm

Proposed by Scottish Power Renewables, Bamff wind farm would consist of seven machines, each 111 metres high, located on the of varying terrain height of the Strathmore hills. If the ground height over a development area is changeable, turbine visibility to a specific radar can vary and it is vital that they are assessed (you can evaluate multiple turbines quickly using our Radar Line of Sight Assessment).

The radar

It has been reported by The Courier that the MOD have claimed that the turbines will be in line of sight to the ATC radar located at RAF Leuchars, and cause “unacceptable interference.” Turbines that are visible to a radar can cause false returns or clutter on a radar screen. This effect makes it difficult for Air Traffic Controllers to differentiate between moving aircraft and rotating blades.

There has been no public mention of a proposed method to mitigate the potentially unwanted radar effects of the Bamff wind farm.

What to explore if your turbine is visible to a radar

For turbines that can be seen by a radar installation, it is definitely worth exploring further analysis or mitigation options before you write the development off. To do this, you could always order the Radar Line of Sight Assessment with the Expert Commentary online – which will provide your next recommended steps to progress (most cost effective option). Or have a consultancy report tailored to your exact needs, for this option just telephone us and tell us as much information about your site and the potential radar problem as you can. For example:

Location, affected radar installation, any objections, previous consultation with stakeholders etc.

The number to call is +44 (0) 1787 319001 and please state you wish to speak to a consultant about mitigation.

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