Fryslân Wind Farm starts pilot with radar detection system to reduce turbine lighting nuisance

While the 89 wind turbines of the 383 MW Fryslân Wind Farm are being inspected, tested and put into operation, a new radar detection system is being installed. Depending on a succesful outcome of the pilot, the turbine lighting could soon be switched off at night when there is no air traffic in the vicinity of the wind farm. This should reduce the nuisance caused by the turbine lighting.

The Siemens Gamesa 4.3 MW wind turbines at Fryslân Wind Farm have a tip height of 180 meters. By law, wind turbines with a tip height of more than 150 meters require aviation lighting. In the case of the Fryslân nearshore project, this applies to the outermost 30 wind turbines.

The lighting at the top of the wind turbines emit white light during the day and red light during the night. Halfway up the tower there is also lightning that continuously emits red light at night.

Measurements to limit nuisance by turbine lighting

Several measures have been taken by the owner of the wind farm, Windpark Fryslân, at the wind farm to limit the nuisance caused by the turbine lighting for the environment:

  • The lamps at the top of the wind turbines burn steadily instead of flashing during the night.
  • Visibility sensors are placed on top of the wind turbines. When visibility is good, the intensity of the lamps decreases by up to 90%.
  • A radar detection system is being built near Kornwerderzand with which the aviation lighting on the wind turbines can be switched off.

Radar Detection System

The location of Kornwerderzand was chosen because of the unobstructed view of the environment, which is necessary for the system to work as effectively and safely as possible. The new radar detection system scans the airspace for aircraft near the wind farm.

  • When aircraft enter the detection zone (approximately 10 km from the wind farm), the radar starts following the aircraft.
  • When aircraft enter the warning zone (approximately 7 km from the wind farm), the system turns on the wind farm lighting.
  • After the aircraft have left the warning zone, the lighting is switched off again, with a time delay of 1 minute.
  • Windpark Fryslân expects that the radar detection system will significantly reduce the nuisance caused by the lighting in the area.

Windpark Fryslân expects that the radar detection system will significantly reduce the nuisance caused by the lighting in the area.

Rules and legislation

For approval of the radar detection system Windpark Fryslân, and the Municipality of Súdwest Fryslân have requested advice from the Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport (ILT). The advice was positively answered by ILT based on the documentation provided and proposed regulation. ILT has no objection to a pilot in which a radar detection system is applied at Wind Park Fryslân.


The definite application of radar detection follows after it has been demonstrated that the radar system works properly by means of a test flight. During this flight, measuring equipment is used to test whether the aircraft is correctly detected under all conditions.

Civil work in Kornwerderzand has now started. Thanks to a smart method with prefab concrete, the foundation can be built in just a few days. This is followed by the installation of the mast and the radar system and the adjustment and testing of the system. This test will be carried out after the installation and tuning of the radar system in October and November. Source: Windpark Fryslân

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