We are getting more than our fair share of business — and controversy — from Spain. Cintra is at the center of a furious protest over the private management of toll roads in Mecklenburg County. Now, a group called Iberdrola is behind a huge wind power deal in northeastern North Carolina being (1) fast-tracked by the Obama administration, (2) praised by the McCrory administration, and (3) questioned by military officials.
Iberdrola broke ground on the project July 14 near Elizabeth City — with Gov. Pat McCrory on-site:
[…] “The Amazon Wind Farm takes a significant step toward diversifying North Carolina’s energy resources,” said Governor McCrory. “Bringing onshore wind production to North Carolina is part of my ‘all of the above’ energy strategy. By diversifying our energy resources, we can provide affordable, reliable, and secure sources of energy that are environmentally clean and safe.” […]
O-Kay. Now, what’s got the military so concerned? Well, they have a specialized radar facility right in that vicinity (known as ROTHR technology) charged with keeping watch on the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and parts of Latin America. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the military has determined that ROTHR facilities need to be located at least 28 miles from any tall structures in order to operate interference-free and at their maximum potential.
The Iberdrola project involves constructing a total of 104 wind turbines standing 500 feet tall on a site just FOURTEEN MILES from the radar facility. (Remember, the military says they need at least 28 miles clearance to operate effectively.)
We’ve got a bit of a pattern going here. The state excitedly promotes and fast-tracks projects (Charlotte tolls and this wind farm) by Spanish firms. Both projects generate some controversy and criticism (Charlotte protests, concerns from military on this one) that appear to be simply ignored by the politicians and bureaucrats.