Marine Corps representatives make presentation on Pamlico wind farm

Published: Friday, February 8, 2013 at 09:03 AM.

Representatives of Marine Corps Installations East told Pamlico County officials Wednesday night that the mission of the Marines remains the defense of the country, although they are willing to work with companies developing alternative energy, such as wind power.

Pamlico County commissioners heard a presentation last year by the Wind Capital Group, which wants to build wind turbines on farm and timberland east of N.C. 306 near Grantsboro and north of Bayboro.

The commissioners turned the matter over to the planning board to prepare an ordinance on the issue as to its effects on the county, including the military’s airspace presence in the county.

Mike Evers, the Marine Corps Installations East deputy director of Governmental and External Relations, gave background remarks on the mission of the Marine Corps in the region, including its special use airspaces.

He noted that through federal law, military commands cannot object to wind energy projects. He said the military has procedures to mitigate the situations.

“Our mission hasn’t changed,” he said. “It is still to protect the United States.”

He added that structures such as tall wind turbines, with spinning blades, present problems in both radar interference and potential collisions for aircraft flying as low as 200 feet above the ground.

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