Press release | 2013-07-19 | 08:15 AM

Vattenfall speeds ahead with first wind farm-capable radar system

Swedish energy firm mitigates effect of offshore scheme on Kent airport.

Vattenfall, the European energy company, is to invest in leading radar technology to enable construction of an offshore wind farm in what is believed to be a world first deal.

The contract, with American firm C Speed, heralds the world’s first ever permanent installation of a fully wind farm-capable radar system. Vattenfall and C Speed recently signed the contract to install the first C Speed LightWave radar in the UK to mitigate the potential impact of its up to 17-wind turbine Kentish Flats Extension on Manston Airport’s primary radar.

Currently a system is installed at the airport gathering data and if it proves successful it will be the first time a wind farm-capable radar has been installed, integrated and then submitted to the regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, for approval. It amounts to a major investment by Vattenfall.

Goran Loman, Vattenfall’s Project Manager for the Kentish Flats Extension Offshore Wind Project, said: “We gained consent for this scheme from the Secretary of State earlier this year on condition we tackle this radar issue effectively. Vattenfall is confident the C Speed system will mitigate the potential impact of our project on Manston Airport and we look forward to getting the condition discharged to allow the wind farm and the airport to safely co-exist.”

He added: “If this technology works, as we expect, it’s hoped the UK government will be satisfied this issue has been dealt with and Vattenfall will be ready to make a Final Investment Decision on the project later this year. This wouldn't have been possible without the support of Manston Airport.”

"C Speed continually incorporates its state-of-the-art technology into its ground-based radar systems and subsystems", explained David Lysack, President and Chief Executive Officer of C Speed. Adding, "this opportunity allows us to provide new capabilities and enhanced performance for our customers while leveraging our field proven architecture and 25 years of operational experience”.

Vattenfall has not yet taken a Final Investment Decision on the KFE however effectively tackling this radar issue is necessary before a decision can be made.