According to the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA), 4.7GW of renewable energy projects are delayed due to military or civil aviation concerns. BAE Systems claims wind-farm developments are particularly problematic with 50 per cent of developments being objected to due to their effect on air-traffic control and air defence.
Over the past two years, BAE Systems has been working on solutions to this issue. So far, the group claims to have developed approaches that will release 500MW of renewable energy and see developers commit £1bn of investment to help the UK to achieve its renewable energy targets.
Jon Mills, head of strategy 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’ has been working with a number of stakeholders to develop its approach. These include the Civil Aviation Authority, Ministry of Defence, Crown Estates and the British Wind Energy Association.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.’