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Published on January 17th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan

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4 GW of Blocked Wind Farms Get Key Technological Support Needed to Move Forward



 

Four gigawatts (yes, 4,000 megawatts) of wind farm capacity have been held on lock-down and unable to move through the UK’s planning system due to Ministry of Defence (MoD) radar issues. However, it looks like that has all changed now.

wind turbines england

At the end of last week, the MoD announced that it has agreed to “a deal for developers to fund new wind farm-friendly radars, with the potential to unlock more than 4 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy, enough to power over two million homes.”

“A new Air Defence radar that is not adversely affected by wind farms has been installed and tested on the Norfolk coast.” This unblocks the development of wind farms with a total installed capacity of 3.3 GW.

Proposed wind farms with an installed capacity of another 750 MW Staxton Wold, North Yorkshire and Brizlee Wood, Northumberland are also projected to benefit from this technological advance. Two radars have been ordered by the MoD for these wind farms in an “award-winning follow on deal.”

“Wind turbines as small as 50kW can reflect radar waves, appearing on tracking screens as ‘clutter’ in an unpredictable and confusing way,” as Business Green notes. “However, independent wind farm developers often cannot afford to invest in expensive mitigation technologies designed to reduce the impact on radars.”

Obviously, this is a huge relief for the UK wind industry, and for wind energy enthusiasts around the world (like us). I’ve practically got a smile on my face writing about this.

Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans Andrew Robathan, taking some due credit for this improvement, notes:

“The MOD was instrumental in convincing the energy companies to collaborate and jointly fund the cost of the radar, meeting operational requirements and ultimately enabling the generation of more renewable energy. This is good news for all parties to this arrangement”

I think so.

UK wind turbines via shutterstock

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • Joe

    This is just awesome. Good job to those guys.

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