Wind Turbine Obstacle Collision Avoidance System

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The OCAS Obstacle Collision Avoidance System warns approaching aircraft using both visual and VHF signals.

The first North American wind farm with an Obstacle Collision Avoidance System from OCAS is now in full operation at the Talbot Wind Energy Project near Chatham, Ontario. The solution was provided through a contract award from Renewable Energy Systems Canada (RES Canada) Construction LP, an affiliate of RES Americas.

RES Canada is the developer, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor of the Talbot Wind Energy Project. The 98.9-MW Talbot project consists of 43 Siemens turbines.

The OCAS solution uses patented radar technology mounted on select turbine towers to detect approaching aircraft and activates the turbine aviation strobe lights for a primary visual warning as required by Transport Canada. This keeps the lights off at all times unless an aircraft approaches the wind turbines. If the aircraft does not take measures to avoid the turbines, a secondary audio warning is delivered to the pilot’s VHF radio.

By keeping the system off until an aircraft is detected, OCAS leaves skies free from light pollution, decreasing public annoyance, lowering the environmental impact of the wind project while increasing safety for the aviation community. The OCAS solution is the first and only Transport Canada tested and approved Aircraft Detection System (ADS).

“We are excited to announce that the first OCAS wind turbine solution in North America is operational. This marks a major milestone for both OCAS and RES. RES, as one of the fastest growing renewable energy companies in the world with superior technical capabilities, made them an excellent partner for this project” said Melissa McCarthy, General Manager, OCAS Inc.

“RES Canada is pleased to have worked closely with the OCAS team in implementing this technology. It is a big step forward with regards to ensuring that we continue to develop wind whilst at the same time minimizing the visual impact to the local communities.” added Andrew Fowler, Vice President RES Canada.

OCAS Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of OCAS AS. The company has core expertise in radar technology and the regulatory aspects of aviation warning systems. More than 60 OCAS systems with over 1 million operational hours are installed in Europe and North America, with over one million operational hours. OCAS Inc. headquarters are located in Vienna, Virginia.

Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc. (RES Canada), an affiliate of RES Americas, was founded in 2003 and is based in Montreal, Quebec, with an office in Oakville, Ontario. RES Canada develops and constructs wind and solar energy projects, serving as a third party construction partner for over 60% of its portfolio in most Canadian provinces. RES Canada is the developer and constructor of 198 megawatts (MW) in Ontario and has another 1,500 MW in its development pipeline.

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