A Senate Bill aimed at reducing conflicts between wind turbines and military radars passed the Senate, but was never debated in the House. Wind turbine blades can mimic air crafts on radar and large wind farms can create images that can span miles on radar screens, interfering with air traffic controllers ability to see real air crafts. The proposed bill, Senate Bill 497, would have required wind developers to notify the Public Utilities Commission of planned wind turbine construction or expansion within 25 miles of military installations. Projects would not be allowed to begin until the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) determined there would be no hazard to air traffic. Notification of the FAA is already in place, but military personnel said they were not always notified of a new project.
Rep. Joe Pickett, who sponsored the bill, said he tried to keep the legislation narrow with the intent of not over burdening the wind industry with new permitting requirements. The bill will likely be raised again during the 2013 session.