There remains no consensus on how close a turbine can be to a base station before it becomes a potential concern and there continues to be debate on whether aging official guideline documents on the issue remain relevant.
“There’s no consensus but there are a lot of misconceptions,” says ATDI operations director Peter Paul. “That can put a lot more emotion into the discussions on where wind farms are sited than there really ought to be.”
ATDI has been walking this tightrope in respect of a proposed development by a company in the west of England. The firm wants to build a wind farm in proximity to a base station belonging to a radiocommunications network but the network company is objecting on the grounds of potential interference caused by the tips of the turbine rotors.
“Proximity is a key word,” Peter notes. “If you give a network operator a choice, it wouldn’t have a wind farm within 10 kilometres of any of its facilities. But, clearly, that’s not a viable position so our job is to establish just how close a turbine can be and not be a problem.”
That is an increasing pressure. Energy ministers from 23 countries arrived in London on April 26 to look at how they can encourage the greater production of green energy. Prime Minister David Cameron told them: “The world urgently needs a more diverse, cleaner mix of energy sources that will give us security without causing irreparable damage to the planet.”
Peter says: “There will only ever be more wind farms, not less, so the issue of how to make them coexist with radio services will become an increasingly thorny one. ATDI has accumulated significant expertise in 15 years of dealing with potential interference caused by turbines and I’m pleased developers talk to us before beginning any construction. It’s a lot cheaper to move something on a plan than on the ground.”
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