WIND

On the Radar

ADAM BARBER

March 14, 2013

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Good news this week for Aveillant, the firm behind a new 3D Holographic Radar system, as it secured £6.75 million worth of funding to manufacture and install its technology at UK airports.

Why could this seemingly small deal be relevant for the wind industry, you ask?

Well, according to Aveillant, the firm’s technology enables radar operators at commercial airports to distinguish ‘wind farm clutter’ – that is the interference caused by wind turbines on traditional radar sets – from other air traffic signatures on their screens.

Again, it doesn’t sound earth shattering until you consider that in the UK, currently, there are more GW of wind energy held up with aviation concerns than there is currently deployed on the ground.

So what is in fact a comparatively small investment, in relation to the numbers frequently bandied around by the industry, could actually go some way to freeing up a significant pipeline of wind energy developments.

It should also enable the extension of existing wind projects to be a more simplified process, where aviation is listed as a concern.

It may also circumvent developers having to install their own radar facilities close to wind farm developments – as ScottishPower Renewables did with its Whitelee project – to provide clarity to air traffic controllers, which in turn would reduce project costs in some instances.

What’s of little doubt is that Aveillant backed the right horse.

With the proliferation of wind energy projects worldwide, and with airports handling ever greater numbers of flights, a solution that satisfies both parties is well-conceived.

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