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Turbines on MoD’s radar  

Credit:  By Graham Brown | The Courier | 21 January 2013 | www.thecourier.co.uk ~~

Windfarms will continue to be on the radar of the MoD.

Defence chiefs have confirmed green energy developers will remain an objection target if their proposals threaten to interfere with air traffic control systems at bases like RAF Leuchars.

A planning appeal over the refusal of a seven-turbine scheme for land on the Angus coastline has prompted renewed concerns from the military, with a hint that a mitigation scheme to address potential impacts on the country’s air traffic control operations could still be two years from implementation.

In 2009, the MoD raised concerns at the scoping stage of West Coast Energy’s 17.5MW Corse Hill proposal for Nether Kelly near the A92 between Carnoustie and Arbroath.

The MoD suggested the coastal turbines would create “unacceptable interference” with the Primary Surveillance Radar (PSR) at the Fife air base.

Extensive dialogue with the developers led to specific mitigation conditions being attached to the planning bid, which was subsequently refused by Angus councillors last August.

West Coast Energy has now appealed the matter, leading the MoD to make fresh comment over the suggested planning conditions, which they do not believe are stringent enough to adequately address concerns over air safety.

An MoD spokesman said their view was that a radar mitigation scheme was still to be finalised by the appellant.

However, they were not aware of any proposed mitigation schemes which have been successfully implemented to date, and are seeking a UK-wide solution to the problem.

The spokesman added: “The MoD has invited companies to submit expressions of interest to take part in a competitive process to be awarded an opportunity to demonstrate their existing mitigation systems in a technology demonstration.

“The aim of the process is to find solutions/mitigations for addressing the effect of wind turbines on UK military Air Traffic Control (ATC) radars. The MoD is seeking a solution to enable the continued operation of military ATC radar capability in the presence of wind turbine developments.”

The spokesman added: “The MoD will undertake the technology demonstration in the summer of 2013.

“Following this an acquisition strategy will be agreed with windfarm developers for the implementation of the first mitigation measures and solutions.

“The first mitigation solutions are expected to be implemented in 2014/215.”

Source:  By Graham Brown | The Courier | 21 January 2013 | www.thecourier.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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