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Dept. of Defense gives Cape Wind "thumbs up" - no impact on radar at Pave Paws

For several years US Congressman William Delahunt has been urging the United States Department of Defense to conduct a detailed study on whether the Cape Wind project 2 would interfere with the massive radar facility on the Upper Cape called Pave Paws 1. Two week's ago Congressman Delahunt changed his mind about whether the Massachusetts Military Reservation where the Pave Paws is located was a good place for a wind farm.

For several years US Congressman William Delahunt has been urging the United States Department of Defense to conduct a detailed study on whether the Cape Wind project 2 would interfere with the massive radar facility on the Upper Cape called Pave Paws 1.

Two week's ago Congressman Delahunt changed his mind about whether the Massachusetts Military Reservation where the Pave Paws is located was a good place for a wind farm.

A week ago a story ran here partially explaining the congressman's change of heart and urging yet another wind farm be built in the MMR.

This newspaper has been informed off the record that government sponsors of studies are often given advance notice of the result, especially when as in this case the results are 180 degrees away from what the sponsor thought.

Both Mr. Delahunt and his anti-wind farm allies at the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound have urged for the study for several years, and they were both prepared to react - the congressman with a positive response and the Alliance with its by now typical negative response to any good news about Cape Wind.

Radar beam is 1/2 mile above turbines

"The analysis shows that... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

For several years US Congressman William Delahunt has been urging the United States Department of Defense to conduct a detailed study on whether the Cape Wind project 2 would interfere with the massive radar facility on the Upper Cape called Pave Paws 1.

Two week's ago Congressman Delahunt changed his mind about whether the Massachusetts Military Reservation where the Pave Paws is located was a good place for a wind farm.

A week ago a story ran here partially explaining the congressman's change of heart and urging yet another wind farm be built in the MMR.

This newspaper has been informed off the record that government sponsors of studies are often given advance notice of the result, especially when as in this case the results are 180 degrees away from what the sponsor thought.

Both Mr. Delahunt and his anti-wind farm allies at the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound have urged for the study for several years, and they were both prepared to react - the congressman with a positive response and the Alliance with its by now typical negative response to any good news about Cape Wind.

Radar beam is 1/2 mile above turbines

"The analysis shows that the Cape Wind project is far enough away from the radar that there is no issue with the main radar beam or the near-field area," Rick LehnerDOD, a Missile Defense Agency spokesman.

The turbines ware 440 feet high. Page 6 of the attached DOD report states that the turbines would have to be almost 7 times that tall to touch the bottom of the Pave Paws radar beam which begins at 3,000 feet above sea level.

In other words, there the nearest the radar beam gets is over a half mile above the highest point any turbine blades will rise.

The congressman appears to be so satisfied that he has proposed two additional wind farms, one in the middle of the Mass. Military reservation itself.

Alliance cries "wolf"

Despite the fact that this DOD 9 page report clearly finds that Cape Wind will not impact the Pave Paws early warning radar system, the local privately funded anti-wind farm group claims the report proves the opposite.

Setting himself up as a defense expert (his military service included a stint in the National Guard protecting the Pentagon against Peace Marchers back in the 1960's). Charles Vinick of the APNS said yesterday that the proximity of the Cape Wind project to the edge of the buffer zone is "too close for comfort."

On the other hand...

Cape Wind Communications Director Mark Rodgers issued this statement late Friday;

Today's Department of Defense (DOD) report is good news for Cape Wind. The report clearly finds Cape Wind to be outside of the wind turbine offset zone being proposed for PAVE PAWS radar systems.

Now the DOD has reached the same determination as the US Air Force - that Cape Wind will not negatively impact the Air Force PAVE PAWS radar system. This report puts to rest in a final form any reasonable concern about this issue.

Unfortunately, the organization that formed to oppose Cape Wind - the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound (also called Save Our Sound) - is yet again resorting to fear-mongering to twist the findings of this report to suit their narrow agenda.

The reality is that projects like Cape Wind strengthen national security by making America more energy independent and less reliant on foreign sources of energy

The Cape Cod Times reported today that Delahunt, who called for the study agreed with project opponents yesterday. "Clearly there has to be further studies because there cannot be a margin of error. We know that radar interference is a real issue."

Perhaps the congressman ahs forgotten his statements of the last two weeks urging a wind farm within a f ew miles of Pave Paws. The story this past Tuesday reported Delahunt spokesman Mark Forest saying any concerns about the base "have been mitigated."

 

Nantucket Sound "YES", Massachusetts Military Reservation "NO"

 

A statement released by Clean Power Now said in part;

For wind turbines that lie within the 25 km offset zone further study would be required to assess the impact of short range returns which may be mitigated by using conventional gain control and range gating techniques. This would be the case for proposed wind turbines on the Massachusetts Military Reservation as suggested in a recent letter from Congressman William Delahunt to military officials for reducing energy costs and sustaining the base. Mr. Delahunt has said "There is no other department in the federal government that understands the national security implication associated with our dependence on foreign oil. That is why moving the [MMR] toward energy independence without compromising military operations makes a great deal of sense."

Barbara Hill of CPN said, "The enormous benefits of energy independence, sustainability, and avoidance of greenhouse gas from the Cape Wind project are now ready to be realized as the potential for radar interference has been effectively removed."


The DOD report concludes with this summery;

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS


The discussion above supports the following recommendations and conclusions applicable to placement of wind farms in the vicinity of Cape Cod AFS and Beale AFB.

*Utility class wind farms could have a significant impact on radars, including the missile defense early warning radars (EWRs), the PAVE PAWS radar at Cape Cod AFS, MA, and the Upgraded Early Warning Radar (UEWR) at Beale AFB, CA.

*To mitigate this impact, establish and enforce a wind farm offset zone within the effective "line-of-sight" of the radars, taking into account the direct, refracted, and diffracted signals from the radar. This effectively establishes a zone around the radar of approximately twenty-five kilometers, assuming relatively level terrain. (Cape wind's nearest proposed turbine is 27.3 kilometers distant.)

*Within twenty-five kilometers, further study would be required to assess the impact accounting for location within the radar's field of view and the relative height of the wind turbine and the radar's main beam.

*After establishing this offset zone, eliminate any remaining impacts on the radar by using gain control and range gating techniques.



Source: http://www.capecodtoday.com...

JUN 16 2007
https://www.windaction.org/posts/9516-dept-of-defense-gives-cape-wind-thumbs-up-no-impact-on-radar-at-pave-paws
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