Washington May 1, 2014 - Officials from the Department of Defense, the Department of the Navy, and E.ON Climate and Renewables (EC&R) Development, LLC (EC&R), signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) April 25, 2014, to avoid adverse impacts on Navy flight training from proposed wind turbines near Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility (NWSTF) Boardman in Oregon. The agreement ensures the continuation of the critical training mission in the vicinity of NWSTF Boardman and is the second such agreement between the Navy and EC&R.
"We are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with EC&R. They are supportive of the Navy mission and have demonstrated through their cooperation that the Navy's training and testing mission and energy development can be compatible," explained Mr. Roger Natsuhara, Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations, and Environment (PDASN (EI&E)).
Signatories to the agreement include Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Installations and Environment, Mr. John Conger; PDASN (EI&E), Mr. Roger Natsuhara; and EC&R Development, LLC Senior Vice President, Mr. Paul Bowman.
"As wind energy increasingly contributes to the nation's energy portfolio, it will be vital to maintain positive relationships with developers to protect critical Navy capabilities," said Rear Adm. Kevin Slates, Director of the Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division. "We're pleased with the outcome of this agreement, and hope to use a similar approach as we work with other wind developers throughout the country."
EC&R proposed 223 wind turbines in Wasco and Sherman Counties, Oregon. Under the MOA, EC&R will relocate 29 proposed wind turbines that would have been within the Military Training Routes (MTR) leading to NWSTF Boardman. In addition, the agreement stipulates height restrictions of the transmission line to 120 feet above ground level. This will prevent interference with Navy flight training in the area.
Wind turbines located in close proximity to or within Navy airspace can interfere with critical training and testing as well as radar and telecommunications. In 2012, EC&R joined Navy in a MOA protecting the flight training mission at naval air stations Corpus Christi and Kingsville in Texas.
"We appreciate the relationship we've established with the U.S. Navy and Department of Defense," said Paul Bowman. "We hope to maintain this relationship and continue to work together to develop projects that are compatible with the Navy mission, while increasing the nation's renewable energy supply."