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Wind wire: Military reassessment

The Massachusetts National Guard is reassessing plans (Windpower Monthly, September 2009) to build 17 turbines on its military reservation in Cape Cod after 14 proposed locations were flagged by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as potential radar and aviation hazards.

The FAA determined that the turbines, while acceptable under normal conditions, could pose problems when pilots landed in an instruments-only mode. "It's all a part of the process," says National Guard spokeswoman Lynda Wadsworth. "We knew that when the FAA comes back with determinations, (it would be) a negotiation process to figure out the next steps." Twelve of the sites are in the southern half of the 50-square-kilometre base, while two of the five locations in the northern half of the base are also in question. "At least four or five of those southern sites could still be viable if we move them a little bit or make the towers a little bit shorter," Wadsworth says. "And then, up in the northern part of the base, we may be able to work all those out, too." Meanwhile, the project is still in search of turbines and financing. Wadsworth hopes the project will be completed in two years, but admits that could be overly optimistic. "We have options and a good path forward," she says. "It probably won't end up being 17 turbines, but even with a lesser amount it's still a very viable project. Our goal is greater energy independence and we'll still meet that goal."

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