Wind turbines planned for Lammermuir Hills would cause “unacceptable interference” to MoD air defence systems, it is claimed.
The Ministry of Defence has objected to plans for 11 additional turbines, each up to 200 metres high, at the Crystal Rig Wind Farm amid concerns about the impact on their remote radar and training exercises.
The proposals are currently being investigated by the Scottish Government reporter.
In a letter to the reporter, the MoD confirmed it is maintaining its objections to the project ahead of a public inquiry due to be held at the start of 2020.
It said: “The MoD assessed that the proposed wind farm would be in line of sight of and detectable to the Air Defence Radar at Remote Radar Head (RRH) Brizlee Wood and would cause unacceptable interference to its effective operation.
“In addition, it was identified that the wind farm would also affect military low flying training activities conducted in this area.”
It added that applicants Fred. Olsen Renewables’ aviation consultant had been informed that any proposal put forward which could create a zone around the wind farm, preventing the radars from detecting the rotating blades, would be considered.
The company had asked about looking into establishing what is known as a Non-Automatic Initiation Zone (NAIZ) over the wind farm.
However, the warning continued: “The MoD is not able to provide any assurance that any NAIZ technical mitigation proposal submitted by the applicant will definitely be acceptable.”
The MoD had initially raised concerns about the impact of the turbines on its air defence radar at Brizlee Wood. It said the RAF was concerned at the loss of a large area of surveillance.
Last year, the MoD said trials had revealed two offshore wind farms had had an unexpected detrimental effect on one of its remote radars.
The latest phase of the Crystal Rig project will take the number of turbines on the site to more than 100.
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