Advanced Energy Mapping Tool
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Department of Defense (DoD) have built a new tool to help advanced energy developers map sites across the country for potential wind, solar and geothermal projects, without interfering with the military or wildlife.
The database, known as READ, or the Renewable Energy and Defense Geospatial Database, identifies 1,800 military installations, training areas, special use airspace and radar sites, as well as federal conservation areas in the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii that would be affected by potential advanced energy projects.
Peter Gardett of AOL Energy explains why the tool might be useful for developers:
“In the past, DoD was consulted at the end of a series of lengthy local, state and regional permitting processes, when renewable energy project developers were required to obtain approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. A number were confused when high-profile projects were delayed for further review by the Pentagon…The (READ) tool is designed to help guarantee ‘smart from the start’ advance planning for renewable energy projects, many of them in the American West.”
One of the cool parts of the map is the remarkable level of detail that it shows about the different military sites in the U.S. (the DoD reassures that the release of the information doesn’t affect national security). You can zoom in and see if situating wind turbines too close to an installation will cause radar interference or whether the glare of hundreds of potential solar panels will be in military flight paths and distract pilots.
Get the full details about how the mapping tool works from NRDC.
The San Francisco Chronicle also has a nice write-up about the tool.