The first large scale stealth windfarm will be built near Perpignan in France, the state utility EDF and turbine manufacturer Vestas announced today.
TreeHugger has tracked the introduction of stealth wind power since its infancy, welcoming the ‘swords into ploughshares’ technology heralded for its 99% reduction in radar signature compared to standard wind turbines. Vestas installed one stealth turbine in 2011 and another two in 2013. The successful demonstration of the technology led to the approval of the Ensemble Eolien Catalan wind farm.
EDF plans for 96 megawatts of capacity, which would make it the biggest wind farm in France. According to wind-watch organization, approximately 6,000 MW of capacity are currently blocked in France due to concerns about interference with weather or air traffic radar.
Vestas admits that the technology may be more expensive than refitting with radar systems that can tell airplanes and wind farms apart. According to Vestas Wind System‘s press release :”The technology to be used at the Ensemble Eolien Catalan wind farm is intended to meet the specific needs of this individual project. Vestas has no plans to offer this technology as a standard solution to the market.”
However, a Reuters report on the news cites insider Nicolas Wolff, head of the Vestas’ French unit saying that the firm is investigating exporting the technology, with the United States and Great Britain identified as promising markets.