North eastern wind project rejected because of radar concerns

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Météo France has vetoed a 20-25 MW wind power project located 15-19 kilometres from its radar at Réchicourt-la-Petite in the north-easterly Meurthe-et-Moselle département. The project, being developed by the local subsidiary of Germany's Energiequelle, is also within a ten kilometre exclusion zone surrounding what Météo France describes as a "sensitive area" around the town of Lunéville, where the meteorology service says accurate weather forecasting takes priority over everything else. Developers complain that there is no map showing where these "sensitive areas" are so that they can avoid them. Energiequelle is now waiting for a more detailed analysis of the possible level of interference with the radar's readings before holding talks with Météo France. "It should be possible to find a solution if both sides are willing," says Energiequelle's Joachim Steinmetz. The company has had better luck in getting a siting permit for its 14 MW project at nearby Grostenquin and has a further 50 MW under development in France. According to the Renewable Energy Syndicate, a lobby group, over 2200 MW of wind projects are on hold in France because of concerns about turbines causing interference on radar systems operated by the defence and civil aviation forces and meteorological service (Windpower Monthly, April 2007).

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