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Innovative Wind Farm Technology unlocks 4.7GW of Renewable Energy and Gains Commendation for BAE Systems


FARNBOROUGH, England - An innovative approach from BAE Systems that overcomes the impact wind turbines have on radar systems which includes solutions ranging from modifying radar electronics to careful positioning of wind farms and radars has won a commendation for its ingenuity from the Renewable Energy Association.

Currently over 50 percent of UK wind farm developments are objected to on air traffic control or air defence grounds because of the effect turbine blades have on radars. According to the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA), 4.7GW of renewable energy projects are now held up because of military or civil aviation concerns but BAE Systems technological expertise is helping unlock that energy enabling the UK to achieve its target of generating 15% of our energy needs from renewable sources by 2020.

In the last two years alone BAE Systems identified innovative solutions that will release 500 megawatts of renewable energy and see developers commit a £1billion of investment while also maintaining the safety and security of air operations.

Jon Mills, Head of Strategy, New Business at BAE Systems Integrated System Technologies said:

“There is no single ”silver bullet" solution to mitigating the impact wind farms have on radars. Every geographical combination of radar and wind farm design will be different, but BAE Systems has developed a systematic approach to the technical analysis and resolution that enables economically viable solutions.

"They range from careful positioning of both radars and wind farms and the use of gap filling additional radars to novel modifications to radar electronics to minimise the impact of turbine blade-generated radar interference.

“The development of a process where wide-scale planning issues can be addressed in a systemic fashion paves the way for quicker, more cost-effective assessment of wind farm applications. Our success in providing these services can ultimately be measured by the amount of renewable energy that has been consented for development following initial objections on radar interference ground. Without our activities, a number of wind farm developments would be unable to proceed, which would impact on the UK being able to achieve its challenging 2020 renewable energy targets.”

BAE Systems is at the forefront of the world’s radar technology development, and trains both civil and military air traffic controllers. As a global defence, security and aerospace company the impact of wind farms on radar is a key area of expertise, we undertook the first external study into the impact of wind farms on radar in 2002 and have already unlocked 500MW of planning glitches and have adopted new approaches to overcoming the problem where previously no solutions existed.

Philip Wolfe, Executive Director of the Renewable Energy Association said:

“These awards honour the outstanding achievements in the British renewable energy sector. BAE Systems solutions to overcome one of the key barriers to large-scale deployment of wind energy are an exceptional and innovative contribution towards the UK meeting its 2020 targets.”

BAE Systems’ approach involves working with key stakeholders across the renewables industry including wind farm developers, the Civil Aviation Authority, Ministry of Defence, Airports, the British Renewable Energy Association, Crown Estates and the British Wind Energy Association, many of whom have acknowledged our role in facilitating discussion and understanding across a range of interest groups.


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