Over the last three decades, wind turbines have significantly evolved as the global wind market grows rapidly. Based on Australia’s Clean Energy Council statistics, there were 102 wind farms in Australia at the end of 2019 and more to be completed in the future. However even with the beneficial aspects of wind energy, wind farms can pose serious hazards to aircraft as the wind turbine generator (WTG) height continues to increase.
Wind farm developers are considering utilising a 250 metre AGL (820 ft AMSL) or higher WTG model for their projects. Proposed WTGs at this height will be above aircraft flying at the minimum altitude of 152.4 m AGL (500 ft). In this case, wind farms are treated as obstacles, and in some situations will require obstacle lighting.
According to the NASF Guideline D Managing the Risk to Aviation Safety of Wind Turbine Installations (Wind Farms)/Wind Monitoring Towers, medium intensity obstacle lights should be used for wind turbines. However, in some circumstances, the location of a wind farm in light sensitive areas or where there are light pollution concerns from the community, an aircraft detection lighting system (ADLS) could be considered in addition to the traditional obstacle lighting solutions.
ADLS is a radar surveillance system which monitors the airspace over and around the wind farm and only activates the obstruction lights when aircraft are in the vicinity of the wind farm.
CASA has recently approved an ADLS system to use in Australia, which is a positive trend.
To find out more about how Aviation Projects can assist you with your wind farm development and lighting alternatives, please contact us.
- Modernising Airspace Protection Public Consultation Paper
- Aircraft Detection Lighting Systems
- New developments in wind farm obstacle lighting
- Renewables in Review
- Renewable energy projects and stakeholder consultation