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View Diary: Obama Administration announces first offshore wind farm project (198 comments)

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  •  NC is complicated. Military bases are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beach babe in fl

    the biggest economic contributor to eastern NC, and wind farms cause problems for interpreting radar, which would impact a lot of military training and security activities.  The NC state government is very military-friendly (no matter who is governor), and so it is unlikely that any wind development will be approved in areas that the military identifies as mission-critical.  Those areas include most of the coast.  This is a good example of trade-offs that have to be negotiated in the needed move towards alternative energy - the military's concern is very valid, as is the need for alternative energy sources like wind farms.  It will be interesting to see what happens.

    •  I don't buy it (2+ / 0-)
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      Meteor Blades, ivote2004

      The coast currently being considered have a lot of military bases.

      And I don't buy the radar story because each and every turbine is at a known location.

      The NC state government is fossil-fuel friendly because Koch/Pope money bought the legislature in 2010 and again in 2012.  That's why the state won't consider it.

      50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

      by TarheelDem on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:12:31 PM PST

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      •  Actually, the radar issue is a serious one. (1+ / 0-)
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        I've done radar remote sensing, and I know a fair amount about the challenges of accurate interpretation of radar data.  It's not like vision, where you can just peer around an obstruction, it's more like hearing, where the sound you are looking for gets lost in the noise or gets distorted through interference.  And it's not just a single wind turbine; these wind farms can have 100 or more turbines, spread out across a pretty broad area.  The moving blades of the turbines create radar anomalies and noise to the point where the ability to see things like fast-moving planes is compromised.  In essence, a wind farm effectively blocks the use of radar to see planes traveling at low altitude anywhere in the wedge-shaped area formed by lines radiating out from the radar instrument past the two ends of the wind farm to the horizon.

        An important element of the missions of a couple of the bases in NC is flight training at low elevations.  The airspace that can be used for that is already very limited.  The other issue is that two of the biggest military bases in the country, Camp Lejeune (Marines) and Fort Bragg (Army) are in eastern NC, and are considered to be high-level targets.  The 'hole' in the radar view obscures things at an altitude that would permit a plane to get very close to those bases before it was spotted.

        It's a very real problem, one that can't casually be ignored.  There is still room for debate about the issue, which is why I refer to it as a good example of the trade-offs that have to be considered in order to make progress towards good outcomes with a minimum of unintended negative consequences.

        I can't stand what's happened to my state's legislature in the past couple of elections, and I don't trust anything coming out of the General Assembly, but they don't have anything to do with it at this point.

      •  Radar shadow is created (0+ / 0-)

        Turbines for now, belong further offshore, 10-20 miles. Much fewer complaints, maybe the next generation wont have this silly aversion to the sight of turbines.

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:01:48 PM PST

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      •  Politics aside, the technical aspects that kkbDIA (0+ / 0-)

        mentions are valid.
        I have several radar units (JRC and Raytheon) and interpreting scan returns can be very tricky, it isn't as straightforward as all the teevee/movie crap you see depicted makes it look (I've been slinging bytes and microwaves a long time).

        That said, my units are nowhere near as sensitive as the military units, and I would think that the mil units probably might/could have the capabilty to compensate for wind turbine blades and towers. Whether there would be a loss of efficiency only they know.

        BTW, here's a neat one on ebay (actually they have two left now), a little out of my price band though, dang it (my largest has a 6'/10kw scanner).
        It was used for bird studies at some wind farms:
        S Band Radar JRC JMA-5332-12 mobile trailer unit

        Weatherdude and a bunch of us WX nuts around here would probably almost kill for a rig like that, heh, although the S mw band isn't ideal for WX.

        "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen im Vierten Reich! Sie haben keine Bedeutung mehr.

        by Bluefin on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:43:15 PM PST

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