The Blow-Hard Problem

Today there are 214 FAA radars watching US airspace for air threats, Maj. Gen. Lawrence Stutzriem, director of plans, policy, and strategy for NORAD and US Northern Command, recently told House lawmakers. Of these, 13 have coverage that is degraded in some form due to wind turbine-induced interference, he said. Such degradation “jeopardizes our ability to defend the United States and Canada,” said Stutzriem during the June 29 oversight hearing on how wind farms affect military readiness. Pentagon officials have said they believe that, in many cases, software and hardware upgrades to the FAA radars would overcome the interference. That’s why they would like to see the FAA’s radar in Fossil, Ore., used as a testbed to validate such upgrades, as we reported in Tuesday’s column. Wind turbines can also affect DOD’s ability to test new weapons systems without electromagnetic interference.