DOD declares wind turbines can interfere with radar, but says some can proceed

The Defense Department has finally completed a long-awaited study on how wind farms impact military radar, which clears the way for some stalled wind projects to continue. At least a dozen projects in Illinois, North Dakota, and Wisconsin had been put on hold pending the DOD study. In its report, submitted this week to the Senate and House Armed Services committees, the DOD declared that turbines in radar line of sight can interfere with detecting and tracking aerial objects, but the Pentagon also showed willingness to allow wind projects to proceed anyway if they pass a case-by-case review process. Wind turbines “present technical challenges to the effectiveness of radar systems that must be carefully evaluated on a case-by-case basis to ensure acceptable military readiness is maintained,” the DOD wrote in its report. Wind advocates are hopeful that any conflicts can be resolved. “Decades of experience tell us that wind and radar can coexist,” said Randall Swisher of the American Wind Energy Association.