Vattenfall and Manston Airport in Kent are seeking to mitigate the potential impact of offshore turbines on airport operations. The developer plans to add up to 17 3MW turbines to the existing 90MW Kentish Flats Offshore wind farm. The Kentish Flats Extension (KFE) project site lies 7km off the Kent coast, in the Thames estuary.
Manston airport is located in north-east Kent, close to Ramsgate. Another Vattenfall-owned offshore wind farm, Thanet, lies to the east.
The two parties are working on a mitigation strategy, aimed at addressing wind turbine effects on the airport's radar system. Successful mitigation would allow for both expansion of the wind far and safe operation of the airport. The mitigation strategy would be implemented should KFE gain consent this spring. Vattenfall could then make a final investment decision, paving the way for construction to commence. This is now pencilled in for 2015.
Goran Loman, Vattenfall’s project manager for KFE, said: "The amended programme does not change the project in any way. All eyes are now on the Secretary of State whose decision is due in March this year. If this is favourable, we will confirm the updated timetable after Vattenfall makes a final investment decision."
If consented, KFE could generate annually up to 150,000 megawatt hours of electricity. The existing Kentish Flats offshore wind farm came on stream in 2005. It features 30 Vestas V90 3MW turbines.