New radar guidelines in Canada

The Canadian wind industry has a new assessment tool it hopes will help it nip concerns about radar and other electromagnetic interference in the bud. The Radio Advisory Board of Canada (RABC) has produced a series of guidelines developers can use at the early stages of development to determine whether their planned turbine placement might interfere with radar, radio and seismic monitoring systems. "It is really a risk management tool," says Sean Whittaker from the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA). The guide also provides a list of relevant agencies that developers can contact if their initial analysis shows there could be problems. "At that point they engage with those people to figure out whether it is actually a problem and, if it is, to explore potential mitigation measures," says Whittaker. The guidelines, he says, should help the Canadian industry avoid the kinds of problems over issues like radar interference experienced by wind developers elsewhere. "It is several steps upstream of any sort of legislative or regulatory action against wind turbines." The RABC initiated development of the guide and brought a draft to CanWEA for input. "What we are proposing from our industry to your industry is that we should talk to each other, we should coordinate," Francois Gauthier of CBC Radio-Canada told CanWEA's recent annual conference. "I think if we talk to each other at the beginning we can rapidly identify issues of concern and avoid potential problems."