Carolina Journal – After operating a little more than a year, the Amazon Wind Farm, North Carolina’s only large-scale wind energy project, continues to cause concerns. The project — located in Perquimans and Pasquotank counties near Elizabeth City — generated just 75 percent of its expected power. Military officials also remain uneasy about the wind farm’s interference with a sophisticated radar facility that provides crucial intelligence for the United States.
Interference with military operations may be the project’s Achilles’ heel — and it may spell trouble for other large wind projects considered for the region. Last year, North Carolina legislative leaders asked the Trump administration to consider shutting down the $400-million, 208-megawatt, 104-turbine project. State lawmakers said the massive turbines would interfere with the U. S. Navy’s Relocatable Over-the-Horizon-Radar facility, or ROTHR, in southern Virginia, bordering North Carolina’s Currituck County.
The sophisticated ROTHR receiver plays a key role in the military’s tracking of aircraft and ships suspected of transporting illegal drugs and other banned substances to the United States. The Navy commissioned a study on the interference which will be released this spring, Katisha Draughn-Fraguada, a public affairs officer for Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads, told Carolina Journal.
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