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Winds of war  

Credit:  Posted by Mark Thompson, battleland.blogs.time.com 6 October 2011 ~~

Apparently the Navy isn’t the only service that has trouble building projects with money from 2009’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Air Force planned on spending $15 million for three wind turbines to generate electric power for remote Alaskan radar sites. Sure, there have been the typical problems: each turbine’s cost has risen by $1 million.

But the real killer is the lack of planning done to ensure that the turbines make economic sense – the same problem the Navy had. One reason may be the Air Force’s incredibly-flawed test program to see if such turbines make sense in the first place.

In 2002, the Air Force studied possible sites for a pilot project. In 2007, they signed a $2 million contract to build a prototype at Tin City, Alaska, an isolated radar station located 700 miles northeast of Anchorage on the western-most tip of North America (yes, on a clear day you can see Russia).

The turbine was finished in October 2008. However, the Pentagon inspector general says in a new report, it isn’t generating any power. Why, curious taxpayers might want to know:

Completing a wind study would have provided [Air Force] personnel the information necessary to determine the most advantageous location at which to build the turbine. Because [Air Force] personnel did not complete a wind study at Tin City before construction, the turbine is located in an area with turbulent winds, and therefore, according to [Air Force] personnel, produces sporadic, unusable power.

Wind studies for the three new turbines weren’t completed before work began on them, either.

Source:  Posted by Mark Thompson, battleland.blogs.time.com 6 October 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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