PRINCESS ANNE – Somerset County Commissioners are scheduled to meet today with a technical team from the Patuxent River Naval Air Station to address concerns that wind turbines could affect radar and radar-based measurement systems.
A group from the base in St. Mary’s County plans to discuss concerns at 3 p.m., said County Administrator Cindy Ward.
Delsea Energy and Pioneer Green Energy representatives – who have been talking to Somerset County farmers and other owners of large tracts in the hopes of leasing areas to install turbines – have been notified of today’s meeting.
“I think that they will be coming,” Ward said. “They seemed to be interested.”
At a recent meeting, Andrew Gohn of the Maryland Energy Administration told Commissioners that while radar interference is a valid concern, the Department of Defense has a clearinghouse that looks at how proposed wind projects may affect a military base and applies the same standards across the country.
“It’s not a base-by-base decision,” Gohn said.
The Federal Aviation Administration also screens projects for the same reasons, he said.
After an anemometer was placed on a Crisfield water tower, MEA officials realized Somerset County might become “the next big thing” in wind energy.
“At the Maryland Energy Administration, we’re very excited about this,” he said.
Businesses also are looking at the area because of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s goal of generating 20 percent of the state’s energy from renewable sources by 2022.
They also are attracted by the grants, loans and tax credits offered through the Maryland Energy Administration.
The county’s Planning Commission has started working on an ordinance for commercial wind operations, but nothing has been adopted so far.
Also on today’s agenda, the Commissioners are expected to hear a funding request from the Somerset County Fire Police.
Commissioners will also meet with planning office staff about an agricultural transfer tax.
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