In certain circumstances, wind turbines, either as single units or grouped together in a wind farm, can negatively affect radio, telecommunications, radar or seismoacoustic systems within a certain distance of the turbine(s). Early consultation with stakeholders is recommended to ensure that a given installation does not bring about unacceptable interference, thereby leading to costly changes or delays at a later stage in the wind farm development process.
To avoid any potential difficulties, the following process is recommended:
Step 1. The wind project proponent develops a map showing the location of the proposed wind farm and all the wind turbines within it.
Step 2. The proponent then consults the Guidelines contained in this document to determine if there is any possibility that the proposed wind farm may impact radio, telecommunications, radar or seismoacoustic systems in the area.
Step 3. In the event that the guidelines indicate that a given installation may have an unacceptable impact, the wind project proponent contacts the applicable authority to determine if in fact further investigation is warranted.
Step 4. The wind proponent and applicable authority then undertake the necessary studies and non-regulatory mitigation measures to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of both.
These guidelines are not able to determine if unacceptable interference actually will occur. The determination of whether or not a proposed turbine or wind farm may create an unacceptable level of interference with existing radio, telecommunications, radar and seismoacoustic systems is very complex and it is not possible to categorically determine if unacceptable interference will occur unless a site-specific analysis is undertaken. The scope of that site-specific analysis and any potential mitigation measures undertaken (Step 4 of the above process), are not addressed in the present Guidelines.
This document has been written by a wide range of stakeholders, and it represents a general consensus in terms of analytical approach and acceptable thresholds for Canada. To the extent possible, it is consistent with documentation either existing or under development in other countries.