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Study says wind turbines affect naval aviation negatively

A new study on the effects of those giant wind turbines on naval aviation in South Texas has been completed. Local officials were briefed on the results Tuesday afternoon.

According to those at the meeting, the U.S. Navy has concluded that wind turbines do have a negative impact on Doppler radar and the safety of pilots at the local training facility.

Congressman Blake Farenthold’s office said the study showed that the wind turbines from the proposed Chapman Ranch wind farm can reduce detection of planes near wind turbines, cause false echoes of planes and false echoes in areas adjacent to wind farms. They added that some mitigation efforts were discussed including a second radar to improve plane detection and legislation that would create a 30-mile wind turbine buffer zone around air installations.

Other proposals include implementation of a special air traffic rule in South Texas operating areas and upgrading exisiting radar facilities.

The study said the U.S. Navy will work with wind developers to minimize impacts through the best location for turbines and agreements to curtail operations in certain situations. No other details on the impact on operations at the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi were immediately available.

3News reached out to Enbridge, the new owners of the Chapman Ranch wind farm project, for comment but did not hear from them by news time.