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UK wind energy radar mitigation funding

The UK Government has pledged £4 million to a partnership to fund a new radar system for the Greater Wash to address wind turbine interference.

The partnership between the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Crown Estate and four wind farm developers, will allow the construction of 3.2 GW of offshore wind in the Greater Wash.

It could also enable a further 4-6 GW in the Norfolk offshore wind zone under Round 3.

The £4m contributes to funding a Lockheed Martin TPS-77 air defence radar for installation at RAF Trimingham

According to RenewableUK (former BWEA), the new radar system means the MoD could lift its current objection to five offshore wind farms representing £7bn of investment and the delivery of over 3 GW of wind energy.

Nicola Vaughan, Head of Aviation at RenewableUK, says: “RenewableUK is pleased that the objections by the Ministry of Defence to the development of these offshore wind farms, some 3000 MW of wind energy capacity, can now be lifted.

“Working together with government, the wind energy industry has proved that obstacles to such developments can be overcome and the interests of the UK as a whole; we look forward to continuing progress in other areas where opportunities for developing groundbreaking offshore wind energy schemes would enable further significant advances towards the UK’s renewable aspirations.”

Mark Roberts, Strategic Market Team Director, Energy & Environment at QinetiQ, adds: “QinetiQ welcomes this latest announcement from DECC in recognition of the problems associated with interference from wind turbines affecting both wind and military radar. This issue has dogged wind farm planning to a far greater extent than the actions of local protesters, and must be solved if we are to meet the 2020 wind power commitments that have been made.

“QinetiQ has already made a significant contribution to radar mitigation through the development of ‘stealth turbine’ technology, which can mask the signal produced by the spinning blades that causes the interference. By developing a series of complementary solutions to this problem, the UK can unlock the potential of previously unviable wind farm sites and remove a major obstacle to the development of the renewables market in this country.”

Small wind

The UK Government has also awarded £750,000 for test facilities for micro wind turbines.

The funding for TUV NEL includes £550,000 to develop 10 new test pads at the Myres Hill test site for public use by industry, certification and test organisations. It also includes £200,000 to carry out a research and development project which will examine how the testing for micro wind turbines can be applied more efficiently with cost reductions, without taking away from the robustness of the MCS standards.

Apprenticeships

As part of its efforts to further promote renewable and low carbon energy, the UK is co-funding the delivery of up to 2500 apprenticeships in the wind energy sector.

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