The UK Ministry of Defense is installing radar that is imperious to wind farms. Previously wind farm applications were denied because they were too close to radar towers that were adversely affected by wind turbine blades. The new radar installations don’t have that problem which will allow more wind farms to be built.
According to the Ministry of Defense, Lockheed Martin’s TPS-77 radar was installed and tested along the Norfolk coast. The test results showed that Lockheed Martin’s radar system was indeed able to shut out “clutter” associated with the turning turbine blades on wind farms, thus allowing five new wind farms to be built. Those five wind farms should generate and additional 3.3 GW of renewable energy.
Two more installations will go up in Northumberland and Yorkshire. All total, the two additional installations should allow an additional 750 MW of wind energy. The cost of installing the new improved radar systems will be paid by energy companies.
Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans Andrew Robathan said:
"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."
Energy Minister Charles Hendry said:
"We must rapidly increase the levels of homegrown clean energy produced in the UK. Wind farms and other forms of renewable energy will help boost our energy security, and ultimately our national security. I am pleased that an outcome has been reached that is beneficial to our national security, energy security and decarbonisation goals."
Lockheed Martin had previously test this radar system “at land-based wind farms near the company’s outdoor test range in Cazenovia, NY, as well as in trials with the Horns Rev offshore wind farm in the North Sea.” The radar worked well. Another great feature of new radar system is that it uses “just half the power of comparable S-band radars.” So not only will it allow more renewable energy installations in the United Kingdom, it is also more energy efficient than many other radar systems.
The new radar has proven that it will work in both the US and UK. That should allow additional wind farms to be built on both sides of the Atlantic without compromising defense security. This is great news as more and more installations are planned for both countries. By the end of 2015, the UK is expecting to have over 1000 offshore wind turbines installed. This should also help the Cape Wind project that has been fighting regulations and objections for years.
Lockheed Martin’s TSA-77 will allow more renewable energy installations. It is also greener than other radar systems making it pretty green as well.