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United States

Maryland naval base wind ban hits 150MW project

UNITED STATES: A 150MW wind project is hanging in the balance after the state of Maryland imposed a moratorium on turbine construction near a naval base.

Two US navy planes fly over Patuxent River naval air station
Two US navy planes fly over Patuxent River naval air station

Unless the state's governor vetoes the bill that has been passed by the state legislature, developers will be barred from installing turbines within a 56-mile (90-kilometre) radius of the Patuxent River naval air station in Somerset county.

The bill would ban the construction of turbines in the area until at least July 2015, when a study of the effects of turbines on the naval base's radar system is due to be released.

The developer of the 150MW Great Bay wind farm, Pioneer Green Energy, has said that any delay to the start of construction of the project, which falls within the restricted area, would mean it would not go ahead.

Governor Martin O'Malley, known to be an advocate of the wind industry, has said: "I have yet to conclude that windmills are quite the threat to naval air radar that those advocating for this ban have concluded," according to local press reports.

He has however, refused to say whether he will veto the moratorium, a move that would anger legislators, who voted 122-12 in the House of Delegates and 31-16 in the Senate in favour of the bill.

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