- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Navy study of wind projects in Texas wielded by opponents of New York turbine development

Opponents of a wind turbine project in Western New York are citing a recent Navy study done in southern Texas that talks about the issues wind turbine projects create for radar systems.

A letter from Pam Atwater, of Saving Ontario Shores, to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo about the potential turbines near the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station comes as more anti-wind groups are raising concerns about turbines’ effects on military installations, like Fort Drum.

Given the potential issues, “it would seem absolutely necessary to fully vet all potential threats to the base and its encroachment-free designation,” she said.

The letter cites a report done by a military Mitigation Response Team, first reported by the Corpus Christi Caller Times. The report found turbines may reduce target detection for radar systems and spinning turbine blades can create false radar impressions. Secondary radar systems tracking aircraft with active transponders were not affected.

The Saving Ontario Shores letter called on the governor to contact the Department of Defense to complete a study similar to the one completed in Texas.

The raising of concerns about how turbine projects affect military installations are a new tactic for those opposed to the creation of such sites and has become a point of interest for anti-wind advocates near Fort Drum.

There are seven wind projects still in development within a 40-mile radius of Fort Drum. Military officials at Fort Drum have told the Times previously that large-scale wind farms could negatively affect instruments used within the post’s radar coverage area and at Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield.

Spokeswoman Julie Halpin told the Times at the beginning of January that the post was interested in developments that have “the potential to impact our ability to train and deploy soldiers.”

The post is halfway through conducting a two-year land-use study with the Development Authority of the North Country, which will cover 25 compatibility issues that could affect the post, such as potential encroachment issues with energy projects.

The issue is also coming into consideration in Washington.

Legislation is being developed in both houses of Congress that will block certain tax credits for wind projects close to military airfields.