No blips as north Norfolk radar cleared for take off

The new wind farm radar at Trimingham

The new wind farm radar at Trimingham - Credit: Archant

Its gargantuan white structures tower as high as 130m off the north Norfolk coast.

Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm . Picture: Ian Burt

Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm . Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

And now radar technology preventing the turbines of the Sheringham Shoal wind farm interfering with the UK's air defences is fully operational.

The announcement from the Ministry of Defence follows a series of trials testing the effectiveness of the wind farm radar at Trimingham, near Cromer.

The system will minimise interference created by the massive blades of the wind turbines, 10 to 13 miles north of Sheringham. The lack of such technology has previously restricted the roll- out of wind farms in line of sight of air defence radars.

It is the first of five wind farm radars in the UK to become fully operational. All are in locations where air defences are potentially affected by wind farm developments.

The technology allows the development of wind farms in locations close to where radar stations are based.

A potential 4GW of renewable electricity generated by onshore and offshore wind farms could be unlocked from the radar technology, providing up to 11pc of the UK annual electricity supply from sovereign sources.

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International service company Serco has worked with defence contractor Lockheed Martin to develop the system which gained initial operating capability in 2011. A series of tests and flight trials have been carried out to demonstrate the remote radar head is fully effective in all weather conditions.

Serco's managing director for defence Matt Wiles said: 'We are all delighted by the declaration made by the Ministry of Defence that they are satisfied that the solution provides sufficient operational mitigation for Sheringham Shoal.'

Ministry of Defence project director and senior engineer Christopher Carpenter said: 'The full operating capability declaration for the MOD's first TPS-77 radar at Trimingham represents a major milestone in the work to mitigate the effects of wind farms on military air defence operations.

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