A Texas lawmaker is considering measures to protect military installations from conflicts caused by wind farms, such as a requirement for early notification.
“If military installations are able to meet and advise industry early on about how development affects their mission, it will help facilitate decisions that are in the best interest of everyone,” state Sen. Donna Campbell (R) told the Times Record News.
Campbell, chair of the Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee, said her concern was triggered by an increase in renewable energy development.
“There are more instances of wind farms near bases due to growth in the highly subsidized renewable energy sector and they present a unique and growing challenge to our military installations,” Campbell said.
“It is my priority as chairman to ensure our military installations remain mission capable, both for our nation’s security and the huge economic impact they bring to communities across our state,” she stated.
Campbell noted that the military employs 225,000 people in Texas, while the wind industry employs only 15,000.
Officials at Sheppard Air Force Base recently said two wind farm projects in north central Texas could threaten the installation’s pilot training mission by interfering with the base’s radar systems and limiting the number of days pilots could train.
The lawmaker acknowledged that in some cases energy developers are able to reach deals with installations to minimize potential interference. In some cases, developers have agreed to limit operations at certain times.
“I am hopeful that agreements can be reached between bases and industry, but even agreements that have been reached seem to be surrounded by uncertainty,” she said.