Battlelines are being drawn in Yorkshire as E.ON announced plans to build the largest UK wind farm several miles off the coast of East Yorkshire despite ardent objections by the MoD.
The Humber Gateway wind farm as it will be called, will have 83 wind turbines and create 33 megawatts of electricity, enough to supply 200,000 homes.
“This scheme will displace the emission of hundreds of the thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide every year and will make a significant contribution to helping the government meet its tough renewable energy targets,” said chief executive Dr Paul Golby.
But MoD officials are already writing up their objections. Officials said that the offshore farm will create clutter on RAF radar and confuse pilots. They are also using the argument that missile defence systems will have trouble distinguishing between a plane or incoming missile and a turbine.
The objections are part of a figurative tug of war between the MoD and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. On the one hand the government wants to and must meet certain green targets including creating renewable energy. On the other side of the argument, the MoD has strongly objected to a large number of wind farm applications centred on the argument of national security and RAF capability.
Last month Defence Management learned that MoD officials often object to wind farm applications even if the turbines are causing minimal to no disruption to radar systems. Despite new technologies that highlight where turbines are on radar systems and distinguish them from planes, the MoD refuses to drop their objections.
8 April 2008
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