A developer considering building wind farms outside Sheppard AFB in north central Texas has opted to abandon the projects following an effort by the base and the Sheppard Military Affairs Committee (SMAC) to alert Innergex about the threat turbines pose to low-level military training routes used by pilots, reported the Times Record News. “These projects would have had serious negative impacts on our ability to safely manage both civilian and military air traffic in those areas and would also have reduced the overall number of effective flying training days we have each year,” base spokesman George Woodward said last week.
Officials from the base and SMAC are hoping to reach out to developers sooner to avoid potential conflicts arising later. “We believe that, by working together and communicating early in the process, we can reach mutually compatible solutions not only in and around military bases, but also around FAA-designated military training routes and operating areas in Texas and Oklahoma,” Woodward said.
SMAC President Glenn Barham said the organization would be talking with state lawmakers about a new Oklahoma law that is designed to prevent encroachment from wind farms by ensuring developers and base officials talk early in the planning process and submit projects to DOD’s Military Aviation and Installation Assurance Siting Clearinghouse.
Photo courtesy of Times Record News