New technology heralds end of wind farm air traffic safety concerns

A number of wind farms which are stuck in the planning process because of concerns they may affect air travel safety, may soon get the go-ahead thanks to funding of a new technology.

Technology firm Aveillant, whose 3D holographic radar can reliably remove wind farm clutter from air traffic control screens, has today secured £6.75m to roll-out its technology at several airports across the UK.

The business model Aveillant proposes has received significant interest from investors as it requires no capital expenditure from airports or wind farm developers.

According to the company, the technology can integrate with existing airport radar and allows it to distinguish between aircraft and turbines, eliminating potentially dangerous clutter from controllers’ screens.

More energy capacity is being held up in the planning process because of aviation radar issues than is currently deployed.

The new radar could potentially unlock numerous wind farm developments by allowing airports to withdraw their objections to several gigawatts of potential wind power stuck in the planning phase.

RenewableUK head of aviation Paul Askew said: “Finding a solution to wind farm clutter on airport radars is one of the most important issues to overcome if we are to further develop wind energy in the UK. Doing so will be key to meeting the UK’s renewable targets.

“Approaches to mitigation have so far been limited and sometimes elementary, such as redesigning wind farms to get turbines out of line of sight. A robust scalable and future proofed solution is needed that works for all sizes of wind farms,” added Askew.

Aveillant has deployed a long-term development system of its technology at Cambridge airport and has planned demonstrations at Prestwick and Glasgow airports.

Conor McGlone

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