US military says wind turbines risking its security

10:42, August 27, 2010      

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The United States military has found a new menace to the defense establishments and military training -- the erupting wind turbines encouraged by White House to spur renewable energy production in the United States.

The New York Times reported Thursday that moving turbine blades can be indistinguishable from airplanes on the radar systems, and can even cause blackout zones in which planes disappear from radar entirely.

And, clusters of wind turbines look very similar to storm activity on weather radar, making it harder for air traffic controllers to give accurate weather information to flying-in pilots, the report said.

Although the military says no serious incidents have yet occurred because of the interference, the wind turbines pose an unacceptable risk to training, testing and national security in certain regions, the newspaper quoted Dorothy Robyn, deputy under secretary of defense, as saying.

As a result, Pentagon has emerged as a formidable opponent of wind turbines in direct conflict with another branch of the federal government, the Energy Department, which is spending billions of dollars on wind projects as part of President Barack Obama’s broader effort to promote new energy.

In 2009, about 9,000 megawatts of proposed wind projects were abandoned or delayed because of radar concerns raised by the military and the Federal Aviation Administration. That is nearly as much as the amount of wind capacity that was actually built in the same year in the United States.

Collisions between the industry and the military have occurred in the Columbia River Gorge on the Oregon-Washington border and in the northern Great Lakes region. But the conflicts now appear to be most frequent in the Mojave Desert, California, where the Air Force, Navy and Army control 20,000 square miles of airspace and associated land in California and Nevada that the Pentagon uses for bomb tests; low-altitude, high-speed air maneuvers; and radar testing and development, the New York Times reported.

The military says that the thousands of existing turbines in the gusty Tehachapi Mountains, in the Mojave Desert, have already limited its abilities to test airborne radar used for target detection in F/A-18s and other aircraft, said the report.

By People's Daily Online

(Editor:张心意)

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