How is DOD Assessing the Risks Posed by Turbines Panel Asks

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR With the number of wind farm projects with the potential to interfere with military training and testing activities on the rise, the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee is eager to learn how the Defense Department assesses the risk to military missions posed by wind energy development.Defense officials have reached agreements over mitigation measures in a number of instances in which proposed wind farms were located close to installations, training ranges or low-level training routes, according to report language attached to the subcommittee’s portion of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill.The panel said it is concerned, however, that some of those mitigations were negotiated before studies to determine the effect of the turbines on aircraft’s main and terrain-following radar were completed. In turn, the subcommittee directs DOD to report on the following:the science, standards, assumptions and criteria the department uses to assess the risks to military missions from wind farms;the proposed parameters and distances from training routes and ranges that are considered an acceptable risk;a review of the success of mitigation measures from past agreements, including their cost; andan analysis of feedback from installation commanders about the effectiveness of mitigation measures.On Wednesday, the Readiness Subcommittee approved its part of the annual defense policy legislation by voice vote in less than three minutes. Floor votes precluded Chairman Rob Wittman (R-Va.) from making opening remarks, but in a written statement he highlighted some of the issues addressed in the draft legislation, including language related to a future base closure round.“We have as a subcommittee prohibited the department from pursuing an additional BRAC round or any other effort aimed at locking in unwise force structure reductions during a time of accelerated transition and uncertainty over future troop presence in the Middle East,” Wittman wrote.“However, we do include a provision that tasks the department to conduct an assessment of where we may be overcapitalized in facilities so Congress can make informed decisions going forward,” he stated.last_img read more