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Sweden backtracks on radar worries

Sweden's Defence Material Administration, or FMV, a civil authority supporting the armed forces, says it will improve procedures for siting offshore wind turbines after discovering that data it had earlier considered evidence of turbine interference with radar were inaccurate and provided no basis for rejection of wind plant applications. The findings emerged from a computer simulation of offshore conditions and live tests at the five-turbine Yttre Stengrund offshore installation near the city of Kalmar in the summer. The tests, aimed at paving the way for more offshore wind and supported with a SEK 5 million (EUR 466,000) grant from the Swedish energy agency, clarified how turbines can interfere with radar, demonstrating that larger offshore sites far from shore present fewer problems than near-coast wind plant. FMV now hopes to establish general directives for offshore siting. It is good news for the 90-150 MW Skottarev offshore project, which has been delayed by protests from the FMV. "The result is cheering," says the energy agency's Tomas Kåberger. "The conflict between a build-out of offshore wind and defence needs for reliable radar reconnaissance to protect territorial integrity is becoming much smaller."

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