Innovations GreenWire: New radar will lead to greater use of offshore wind energy
8th April 2010
Serco is leading a new partnership to help Government achieve its climate change commitments through the greater use of the UK's sizable offshore wind energy resources.
Serco, together with its partner Lockheed Martin, has reached agreement with the Ministry of Defence to introduce new radar technology into the UK Air Defence System that is resistant to the interference generated from wind farms, removing a significant planning obstacle to the roll out of future off shore wind power. This business will be worth around £20 million over two years.
Focussing on the proposed development in the Greater Wash area off the coast of East Anglia, the partnership will commence by introducing a Lockheed Martin TPS-77 radar at Remote Radar Head (RRH) Trimingham to coincide with the opening Scira's off shore wind farm at Sheringham Shoal. Serco will provide a solution to mitigate the impact of the wind farm on air defence radar coverage right across the Greater Wash.
Clearly, the introduction of this technology has much wider possibilities when considered across the whole wind energy field and Serco will continue to work with trade association RenewableUK and the energy companies it represents who are now working in concert to use the TPS77 in their schemes.
Simon Bailey, Serco Business Group director, who has been responsible for leading this activity paid tribute to all parties that had helped realise this solution. He said: "Had it not been for the vision of all the UK stakeholders in form of: MoD, Department of Energy and Climate Change, The Crown Estate, RenewableUK and the individual energy companies themselves, it is unlikely that such a timely solution with an acceptable risk and reward profile for all parties, would have been identified within the available timeframe. It is with credit to all involved that this solution has been created.
"The importance of this development to helping to tackle climate change is difficult to exaggerate. The Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm, located between 17 and 23 kilometres off the coast of North Norfolk, will comprise 88 wind turbines capable of generating 317 megawatts of capacity. This is enough clean energy to power almost 220,000 British homes. Compared to fossil fuels that is a reduction of 500,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. With over 1200 turbines planned for the Greater Wash area, a greater saving in CO2 reduction will be achieved and Serco is delighted to play its part in this."
Commenting on the programme, Andrew White, chief executive of Serco's defence, science and nuclear business, said: "A key part of Serco's mission is to help strengthen the sustainability of the communities in which we operate by enabling a low carbon economy and greater energy security. The application of this new technology will help achieve both by smoothing the way for the development of offshore wind farm, and will significantly increase the potential of wind energy in helping the UK meet its renewable energy targets.