OTIS AIR BASE – Plans to build a wind turbine at the base are on hold until officials figure out whether a turbine would interfere with the Air Force’s PAVE PAWS radar station in Sagamore.
Last month, the Missile Defense Agency issued a report that found a proposed offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound would not interfere with the Air Force’s missile-tracking radar because the turbines would be built outside of a 25-kilometer buffer around the Sagamore radar.
But a planned Air Force turbine falls within that zone.
The Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment, which runs a cleanup program at Otis, planned to build a turbine that would provide electricity to a groundwater cleanup facility.
The turbine project has received its required permits – including an FAA finding that the proposed turbine would not interfere with radar. But Air Force officials recently learned the FAA approval did not include a review of PAVE PAWS, program manager Jon Davis said.
Air Force officials are waiting for another review before they build the turbine.
The Air Force spends more than $1 million annually on electricity to clean up tainted groundwater at Otis. Officials estimate a wind turbine could save the base $170,000 a year in electricity costs.
By Amanda Lehmert
4 July 2007
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