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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

New Pentagon Office Simplifies Review of Commercial Energy Projects

  • July 26, 2011
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A new DOD office established last summer to assess the impacts of proposed renewable energy projects located near installations has streamlined the federal review process, providing developers with greater notice when their plans potentially could interfere with military training and operations.

The first assignment for the siting clearinghouse was to evaluate a backlog of 249 proposed projects that had been delayed following initial objections by the military, reported American Forces Press Service. The office, led by David Belote, worked with the services, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Bureau of Land Management to assess the projects within 180 days.

Projects with no significant risk to military readiness and training, and test and evaluation responsibilities, or homeland defense, were rated green; projects with some risk that likely could be mitigated were rated yellow; and those with significant risk and no apparent mitigation were rated red.

Ultimately, all but 20 of the projects came back green, according to the story. Many of those remaining projects likely will be approved if the developer agrees to take mitigating steps. Four or five likely will not be able to go ahead because they are near critical military capabilities, Belote said.

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