Navy OKs wind farm near air base

Friday - 4/20/2012, 8:25pm EDT

The air in South Texas will soon move more than airplanes, thanks to a memorandum of agreement signed by the Defense Department, the Navy and renewable-energy company Texas Wind Group.

DoD had previously blocked construction of wind turbines in the area due to its proximity to the naval air station in Kingsville, Texas. But it will now allow the company to build 83 turbines nearby the base.

Wind turbines generate electromagnetic interference that can impact aircraft systems. Under the agreement, the company will contribute $500,000 to update nearby radar systems to accommodate the turbines. They also agreed to change the location of several turbines and to turn off any turbines in the future if they are found to be creating interference.

"The Navy recognizes the strategic and fiscal importance of developing domestic sources of energy for use both ashore and at sea," said John Quinn, the acting director of Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division. "As we develop new sources of energy, it is critical that we not create a new problem as we solve another. This agreement with the Texas Wind Group is proof that when energy developers and the military work together, it is possible to achieve a win-win for both national security and energy security.

Quinn indicated that this could pave the way for more agreements of this kind in other areas.

This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily DoD Report brought to you by United Health Military and Veterans Services. For more defense news, click here.