The Air Force has approved siting of a proposed wind turbine at the Massachusetts Military Reservation within a buffer zone around the PAVE PAWS radar station in Sagamore.
In June, the U.S. Department of Defense established a 25-kilometer zone around the PAVE PAWS facility within which any proposed wind turbines would require review by military officials. The buffer zone is about 15Â½ miles.
The U.S. Air Force Space Command found no issues with the turbine proposed by its Center for Engineering and the Environment, which runs an environmental cleanup program at the Otis Air National Guard Base on the military reservation. The center plans to build a turbine that would provide electricity to a groundwater cleanup facility at Otis.
The turbine project has already received its required permits, including an Federal Aviation Administration finding that the windmill would not interfere with radar. But a study of the PAVE PAWS station was not included in the FAA review.
The Air Force spends more than $1 million annually on electricity to clean up tainted groundwater at Otis. Air Force officials estimate a wind turbine could save the base $170,000 a year.
The 130 turbine Cape Wind project proposed for Nantucket Sound falls outside of the PAVE PAWS buffer zone but is under review by the Space Command. A definitive ruling on that project from the Air Force agency is expected soon.
By Patrick Cassidy
24 August 2007
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