Under the Radar
FAA shuts down work on proposed wind farms
The Federal Aviation Administration has shut down work on at least 15 Midwest wind farms pending … wait for it … more research. Last year, Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), a critic of the Cape Wind project planned for Nantucket Sound, added an amendment to a military spending bill directing the Defense Department to study wind turbines’ effect on small-aircraft radar signals. Since then, despite the fact that dozens of wind projects currently operate within sight of radar systems and have caused no discernable problems, all proposed turbines within the scope of military radar have been blocked. The stalled projects include an Illinois wind farm that would have been the nation’s largest. “Until the potential effects can be quantified and possible mitigation techniques developed, it is prudent to temporarily postpone wind-turbine construction in areas where the ability of these long-range radars that protect our country might be compromised,” says a Pentagon spokesflack. That sounds not-at-all promising.