Updating Radar Systems Gives Big US & UK Wind Farms the Air Force Stamp of Approval


Here's what $30 million gets you if you're in the market for a new radar... photo: Lockheed Martin

Remember a little while back when the US Air Force was objecting to the Shepherds Flat wind farm in Oregon because it could interfere with its radar systems. Over in the UK, the RAF had expressed similar concerns about offshore wind farms. Well, no more. In both cases updates to radar systems have eased fears that turbine blades could be mistaken for slow-moving aircraft and pose an air traffic control and security threat.The Washington Post reports on the USAF's reversal on Shepherds Flat, saying that the radar systems near Fossil, Oregon would be updated and the 845 MW wind farm could begin construction.

In the UK, The Guardian reports that RAF fears about the impact of offshore wind farms on air defenses have been eased because of a £20 million ($30 million) expenditure on the part of wind farm developers, the Crown Estate, and the Department of Energy and Climate Change to purchase the Lockheed Martin Air Defense Radar TPS77 system.

As a result the Ministry of Defence has lifted planning objections to new offshore wind farms consisting of nearly 1,000 turbines.

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Tags: Renewable Energy | United Kingdom | United States | Wind Power