#ncga: Steinburg’s windmills under-performing, hurting Navy ops

State Rep. — and wannabe state senator – Bob Steinburg makes no bones about his support for government-subsidized solar and wind energy.  Here he is just last year:

A group of North Carolina legislators want to see a recently opened wind farm in Pasquotank and Perquimans counties shut down over what they say is interference with military radar.


One coastal legislator not on the list of signatories was Rep. Bob Steinburg, R-Chowan, whose district includes the wind farm project. Steinburg told CRO Wednesday that he would fight any move to shut down the wind farm unless he saw any solid evidence that claims in the letter were true.

Steinburg said he had raised his objections with House leaders over the letter. The push to shut down the wind farm, he said, is less about the military and more about a long-running fight against renewables in the General Assembly.

“I think there are some who are trying to set up the military as a straw man,” Steinburg said. “I have not talked with anyone from the military that has said they cannot coexist with this particular project.”[…]

Here we are a little more than  a year later, and things don’t look any better for Bob’s windmills:

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.

Nor has local opposition to the project eased. Currituck County Commissioner Paul Beaumont, a former U. S. Navy pilot, recently toured the ROTHR facility. He said ROTHR personnel made it clear to him that the Amazon Wind Farm has degraded signal reception. ROTHR has trouble detecting and identifying targets of interest, including fast moving and semi-submersible watercraft, because of interference from the wind farm.

“In the name of national security, I want wind farms to be removed as a permitted use in Currituck County,” he said, and he will ask fellow commissioners to support the change.[…]

*Gosh, Mr. Beaumont managed to find some people with the military to affirm that the windmills are still a problem.*

Hmmm.  Currituck county board chairman Bobby Hanig is primarying state Rep. Bev. Boswell.  (Someone should ask HIM about all this.)