Invenergy Wind LLC will re-evaluate its entire $250 million project after the Federal Aviation Administration recently issued hazard determination permits for 80 of its 133 turbine sites, according to Neil Palmer, public affairs consultant for the Chicago-based developer.
He said Invenergy Wind plans to obtain pricing updates on turbines, equipment and construction as well as establish a schedule after nearly a year-long delay while the Department of Defense studied the effect wind turbines would have on military radar.
“Once we get through that we’ll have a better definition of when we’ll start building but we don’t know that today,” Palmer said.
He said the DOD, which doesn’t have the authority to issue permits for wind turbines, asked the FAA to grant them until the DOD concludes its study.
But Joe Breaden, president of Horicon Marsh Systems Advocates, called the project “history” if the DOD rules that the 50-square-mile Forward Wind Energy Center interferes with military radar in the north corridor from the Canadian border all the way down to Chicago.
“They’re not going to put any of them (turbines) up,” he said.
Bruce Beard, national operations manager of obstruction evaluations services at the FAA in Texas, has said that the wind farm project near the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge has created problems for the radar, but the FAA concluded that adding more turbines won’t aggravate the situation.
“That’s like I shot myself in the foot and it hurt so I shot myself 133 more times to see if it hurt more,” Breaden said. “It doesn’t make any sense.”
He said the FAA should correct rather than complicate the problem if it knows that the wind turbines will interfere with the radar system and national security.
HMS Advocates has filed an appeal to the state court of appeals against the project because Invenergy Wind wants to build it within 1.2 miles of the Horicon Marsh.
“We’ve fought this tooth and nail from the beginning and we’re still not through,” Breaden said. “I hope they realize that.”
By Brian Paynter, Staff Reporter
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