Officials from Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, other local military installations and area wind energy companies met last week to continue resolving concerns about wind farm developments that impact military installations, the Wichita Falls Times Record News reported.
The meeting, part of ongoing talks toward resolving disputes between senior Sheppard AFB officials and the wind farm industry, discussed topics ranging from improving communication and relationships between wind industry companies, DOD and local communities, improving industry technologies and more, according to the report.
There’s a balance that can be reached, says a Texas A&M University Natural Resources Institute (NRI) official.
Keith Graf, executive director of the Texas Military Preparedness Commission, said wind farm impacts on military bases are commonly raised as local or regional concerns, rather than as a national issue with national defense implications.
The goal of the meetings is to prompt a larger discussion and encourage engagement in the early stages of wind developments, according to the report.
At the heart of the issue, military officials have sought to reduce the negative impacts to safely manage military air traffic and minimize reductions in effective flying training days each year, as On Base has previously reported.
Col. Russell Driggers, 80th Flying Training Wing commander, agreed that the discussions help in understanding procedures and issues early in the process, according to the report.
“This is not about clean energy versus the military mission,” he said. “It is about understanding each other’s needs and working together.”
The Federal Aviation Administration has estimated the number of wind turbines in Texas has doubled to more than 12,000 since 2010.
Photo credit: Times Record News file