Federal Interagency Wind Turbine Radar Interference Mitigation Strategy

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Wind development located within the line of sight of radar systems can cause clutter and interference, which at some radars has resulted in significant performance degradation. As wind turbines continue to be installed, and as advances in wind energy technology enable wind farms to be deployed in new regions of the country, the probability for wind development to present conflicts with radar missions related to air traffic control, weather forecasting, homeland security, and national defense is also likely to increase, as is the potential severity of those conflicts. 

Under a memorandum of understanding signed in 2014 and building off of the successful Interagency Field Test & Evaluation program radar mitigation testing campaigns, a consortium of federal agencies composed of the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration established the Wind Turbine Radar Interference Mitigation Working Group to address these conflicts.

To achieve these objectives, the Wind Turbine Radar Interference Mitigation Working Group will coordinate activities within three broad strategic themes:

  • Improving the capacity of government and industry to evaluate the impacts of existing and planned wind energy installations on sensitive radar systems
  • Developing and facilitating the deployment of hardware and software mitigation measures to increase the resilience of existing radar systems to wind turbines
  • Encouraging the development of next-generation radar systems that are resistant to wind turbine radar interference.

The Ground-Based Coastal Air Surveillance Radar WTRI Study—Public Summary is a public summary of recent research conducted by the Massachusett's Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory evaluating the potential impacts of existing and planned offshore wind facilities on coastal radars. Collaborative work with multiple agencies is ongoing in this area.