Navy officials in South Texas are concerned about the proliferation of wind farms across the region as they don’t yet have a clear understanding of how a multitude of projects will affect military flight operations.
“I do feel like one day we’re going to wake up surrounded by wind farms in South Texas significantly impacting the mission in a negative way,” Capt. Christopher Misner, commanding officer of Naval Air Station Kingsville, told the Texas Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations on Thursday.
DOD has the capability to assess the impact of individual projects and, in most cases, mitigate any potential conflicts. In fact, the Navy has reached an agreement with the developer of a wind farm close to NAS Kingsville that calls for both parties to work together to minimize any adverse impacts, reported the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
But to model the effects of hundreds of wind turbines in the vicinity of an installation, the Navy needs to develop software, Misner said.
“We’ve got to develop that modeling and we’re not there yet,” he said. “That’s why there’s so many different stances on wind farms.”
Kingsville Mayor Sam Fugate told the committee the state would need to intervene when projects jeopardize an installation’s training activities.
“Our [extraterritorial jurisdiction] only goes out two miles. We’ve done everything we can do,” Fugate said. “What we really need is a moratorium on constructing wind farms within 25 miles of our base until they can come up with technology to remedy the problem,” he said.