Winds of Change

The Defense Department on April 30 informed Oregon lawmakers that it would no longer block the $2 billion project to erect the world’s largest wind farm outside of Portland over concerns that the wind turbines might interfere with a 50-year-old radar nearby. Construction of the Shepherds Flat wind farm is now expected to begin in May. When complete, the farm will be capable of producing 845 megawatts of power, equivalent to the output of a nuclear power plant. DOD will upgrade the radar, which is in Fossil, Ore., so that it is less susceptible to disruption. Back in March, Gen. Gene Renuart, US Northern Command boss, told lawmakers, he had “real concerns” about the growing use of wind turbine farms due to their potential for distorting radar. (Sen. Ron Wyden (D) release) (See also the Associated Press April 30 report via Portland’s KGW Newschannel 8)