July 18, 2005

UK ministry lifts south Scotland wind farm ban

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's ministry of defense has lifted
a ban on several wind farm projects in southern Scotland after
allaying fears that they could interfere with a seismic station
monitoring a ban on nuclear tests.

The ministry of defense (MOD) had blocked all wind farms
planned within 80 km (50 miles) of the Eskdalemuir seismic
array site which monitors the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban

It agreed to lift the ban after a study by the University
of Keele showed if turbines were built at least 17.5 km from
the array, they would not interfere with its functions.

The government is relying on an expansion of wind farms,
especially in Scotland, to meet its target of supplying 10
percent of the country's electricity from green sources by

Elsewhere, the MOD continues to block a number of wind
power projects as it fears their turbines could interfere with
radar equipment.

The British Wind Energy Association said flight trials have
begun to test technology which would resolve fears that the
rapidly rotating turbines could create false images on a radar
screen as they can mimic an aircraft.

"This is the first step toward developing a technology that
can tackle the interaction of wind turbines and radar which
currently leads to the sterilization of a significant number of
potential wind farm sites," said Chris Tomlinson, head of
onshore wind at the BWEA.