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Letter: Wind Farm will not hurt training at Falls air base

Wind Farm will not hurt training at Falls air base

The May 6 Another Voice raises concerns about the proposed Apex Wind Farm project limiting the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station’s military training mission with elevated obstacles and interference with airport radars. While the specific locations of Apex wind turbines have yet to be revealed, those turbines are expected to be 25 to 35 miles distant from the airfield.

In New York State, there’s another military airfield, Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield, at Fort Drum near Watertown. The largest wind farm in New York State, the gigantic Maple Ridge Wind Farm, has 195 wind turbines and is located just 16 miles from Fort Drum’s airfield. For the past 10 years, there has been peaceful coexistence between Fort Drum and the Maple Ridge Wind Farm. Obviously, this nearby wind farm has not adversely affected Wheeler-Sack’s radars or airborne training missions.

More to the point, the Copenhagen Wind Farm, with 40 turbines, 500 feet tall, is in the final stages of planning, and located a scant 7 miles from Fort Drum’s airfield. Issues of radar interference were raised by the base commander five years ago, and now appear to be resolved.

Judging from the 10-year-old Fort Drum-Maple Ridge Wind Farm experience, it’s highly unlikely the more distant Apex Wind Farm will have any affect on the Niagara Falls base’s military mission, except, perhaps, to supply the base with some electricity generated from a renewable source of energy.

Charley Bowman

Environmental Justice Task Force

WNY Peace Center