Defense Department Wants New Wind Farms Away From Turbines

Local News

BISMARCK — Could updates to wind farms become a national security risk?

That’s a possibility, according to the Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force.

Both organizations recently met with state lawmakers and regulatory officials to say that they would like future wind farms to be kept at least two nautical miles from a missile launch silos.

Defense Department officials also said they would like the wind turbines to be equipped or be compatible with night vision goggles so aircraft pilots can easily spot the turbines.

Many wind farms across the state have been installing new adaptive lighting technology that uses radar to turn on turbine lights at night when an aircraft is detected, but the military said that puts covert operations at risk.

KX News spoke with state officials who told us what the government is asking for is tough.

“Two Nautical miles is a significant setback and would have a pretty large impact on landowners right’s to develop wind. So if they have land, near these missile silos, and there’s a significant number of them in wind-rich areas, they would then be basically prevented from developing that wind resource,” said Julie Fedorchak, ND Public Service Commissioner.

The Commissioner adds similar requests have been made by defense officials in Wyoming, Nebraska and Colorado.

The Public Service Commission hopes to have a response ready for federal officials by the first half of next year.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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