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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Forward on renewables

From an editorial in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

No one should consider the radar problems posed by a Dodge County wind farm as a reason to slow the push for more wind-generated power in Wisconsin. While the issue needs to be explored, it isn't significant enough to warrant slowing down the move toward more renewable energy.

The state needs more wind farms and other renewable sources if it's going to move away from fossil fuels that help contribute to pollution and climate change.

According to the National Weather Service, the wind farm's turbines are sending false storm signals to the government's weather radar system. Weather service officials say they see no significant public safety threat, although they say the wind farm could confuse some storm watchers.

Meteorologist Marc Kavinsky told the Journal Sentinel's Scott Williams that the approaching summer storm season will be the federal agency's first opportunity to gauge the wind farm's full impact.

Just outside the Dodge County community of Iron Ridge, the wind farm includes 36 turbines that began operating over the past few months, generating electricity for several surrounding communities.

A spokesman for the owner of the wind farm, Babcock and Brown Ltd., said the company has not encountered a similar problem with any of its other 24 wind farms operating throughout the country.

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