Pentagon Attempts to Stop Wind Farm Development
Pentagon Halts Wind Farm Construction, Claiming Radio Interference-
With opposition looming around every corner in the fight toward a clean energy economy, it comes as no big surprise that the Pentagon is now attempting to prevent the development of what promises to be the world’s largest wind farm in eastern Oregon. Caithness Energy had planned to begin construction on the 845-megawawtt Shepherds flat wind farm near Arlington, Oregon; but last month, Pentagon officials moved to deny the developer its final Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) permit, claiming that the bulky turbines could interfere with a local Air Force radar system. The dispute has targeted three other major wind projects in the same region, and other proposed wind farms in states from Illinois to Texas. The FAA sent notifications to Caithness Energy, and numerous local landowners who plan to host wind turbines on their property, stating that the structures pose “a hazard to air navigation” and indicated that the turbines would exceed “obstruction standards and/or would have an adverse physical or electromagnetic interference effect upon navigable airspace or air navigation facilities.” According to Caithness Executive Vice President Ross Ain, any considerable delays in construction could kill the wind farm because the project will lose its eligibility for federal funding unless its finished by the end of 2012.