Developer Suspends Maryland Wind Project that Posed Risk to Pax River

first_imgThe developer of a proposed wind farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore said it was placing the project in “indefinite suspension” after it could not overcome concerns by the state’s congressional delegation that the project would interfere with a radar system at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.The Great Bay Wind project, located across the Chesapeake Bay from the air station, had survived a move last year by Maryland lawmakers to delay its construction until MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory could evaluate ways to mitigate the turbines’ impact on the radar system after then- Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) vetoed the bill.In response, however, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) — who was chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee — added language to the committee report of the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill barring the Navy from reaching a deal with Pioneer Green Energy to turn off the turbines during radar testing at Pax River until MIT completes its study. The study is scheduled to be finished by the end of the year.Adam Cohen, vice president of the developer, cited the provision inserted by Mikulski in a March 20 letter informing Somerset County that Pioneer would not be requesting a permit for the project’s construction “at the current time or in the foreseeable future.”  The Mikulski language “placed the entire Great Bay Wind investment and business into a state of uncertainty,” Cohen said.The Pentagon placed another hurdle in front of the project in October when it formally objected to the wind farm because of its potential to interfere with the stealth radar system at Pax River.Advocates of the air station applauded the news of Pioneer’s decision, reported the Maryland Gazette.It’s a “big win for St. Mary’s and another job creation opportunity for the Eastern Shore,” St. Mary’s County Commissioner Tom Jarboe (R) said in reference to a plan by a Pioneer affiliate to develop an unrelated solar project in Somerset County. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img

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