Midwest senators raise concerns over wind power stoppages
RENEW Wisconsin praised the Midwest senators who wrote to the Department of Defense and Federal Aviation Agency to ask them to move quickly on a study of wind farms on defense radar:
Senators from three Midwestern states raised concerns over a Department of Defense (DOD) decision to oppose construction of wind farms and won praise from Wisconsin’s leading wind energy advocate organization.
In a letters to the DOD and the Federal Aviation Administration, the senators asked the agencies not to “unnecessarily obstruct the implementation” of wind power until completion of a study on whether wind turbines interfere with national security.
The DOD and the Department of Homeland Security will “contest any establishment of windmill farms” within the “line of site” of any National Air Defense and Homeland Security Radars, according to a recently adopted interim policy.
“As the senators rightly note, the line-of-site covers much of the nation and nearly the entire land area of the Midwest,” said Michael Vickerman, executive director of RENEW Wisconsin, a statewide organization that advocates for renewable energy.
“We appreciate the senators’ help in stressing the importance of getting the study completed and ending the de facto moratorium on wind energy projects,” added Vickerman.
Wisconsin senators Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl signed the letter along with senators Richard Durbin and Barack Obama from Illinois and senators Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan from North Dakota.
The senators expressed their support for the development of “alternative, sustainable, and renewable sources of energy,” such as wind.
The letter went on to say, “Prohibiting, even temporarily, the development of wind energy facilities . . . would be a considerable set back for efforts to increase our country’s energy independence.”
The federal policy affects more than a half dozen Wisconsin wind generation facilities, ranging in size from 5 to 132 turbines, for a combined total of 900 megawatts of electrical capacity. Wisconsin currently has 55 commercial-sized wind turbines.
An earlier media release from RENEW provides more background.