New Bern
52° F
Clear
Clear
Greenville
48° F
Clear
Clear
Jacksonville
48° F
Clear
Clear
Advertisement

Wind farms raise concerns on military bases in ENC

By Kyle Horan
Published On: Mar 11 2013 03:38:50 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 08 2013 05:49:41 PM CST
CAMP LEJEUNE, ONSLOW COUNTY -

Possible wind farms in Eastern North Carolina could interfere with Marine flight training missions. Airspace experts at Camp Lejeune said wind farms could come to several counties in the area.

Wind turbine blades can distort radar image for both pilots and ground control. That distortion can make it difficult for Marine training exercises as well as make it more dangerous to fly.

"It clutters what is otherwise a crisp and clear radar display," said David Plummer, Airspace Coordinator for Marine Corps Installation East.

Plummer said young pilots shouldn't have to train with real obstacles in surrounding terrain. He worries that wind farms popping up around Eastern North Carolina could negatively effect Cherry Point and New River air stations.

"Cherry Points mission is dependent on that radar display," Plummer said. "If you took it out of place I don't see them being able to support what we have at Cherry Point right now."

Pamlico County Town Manager Tim Buck told NewsChannel12 Friday the county has been approached by 4 different wind energy companies. Wind energy is the first big industry to express interest in the county. Buck said wind farms in the county could mean jobs and extra tax revenue.

"The tax base that these wind farms could provide will really help us keep the property tax as low as possible," Buck said.

375 wind turbines could come to ENC. Buck said 50 to 100 wind turbines could come to Pamlico County.

It is unclear what would happen to Marine bases if wind farms come to the area. However, Plummer said he hopes to find a way the base can operate training missions as normal, support green energy, without the interference to base radar.