Wind Farms Disrupting Radar, Scientists Say

FoxNews.com
11/5/2011

Rainstorm or wind farm? The circled area contains a wind farm, making it unclear whether it is also raining there.

This one’s really off the radar.

Wind farms, along with solar power and other alternative energy sources, are supposed to produce the energy of tomorrow. Evidence indicates that their countless whirring fan blades produce something else: “blank spots” that distort radar readings.

Now government agencies that depend on radar — such as the Department of Defense and the National Weather Service — are spending millions in a scramble to preserve their detection capabilities. A four-star Air Force general recently spelled out the problem to Dave Beloite, the director of the Department of Defense’s Energy Siting Clearinghouse.

“Look there’s a radar here — one of our network of Homeland surveillance radars — and [if you build this wind farm] you essentially are going to put my eyes out in the Northwestern corner of the United States,” Beloite related during a web conference in April.

Spinning wind turbines make it hard to detect incoming planes. To avoid that problem, military officials have blocked wind farm construction near their radars — and in some cases later allowed them after politicians protested.

Shepherd’s Flat, a wind farm under construction in Oregon, was initially held up by a government notice that the farm would “seriously impair the ability of the (DoD) to detect, monitor and safely conduct air operations.”

Then Oregon’s senators got involved.

“The Department of Defense’s earlier decision threatened to drop a bomb on job creation in Central Oregon,” democratic Senator Ron Wyden noted in a press release

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