NASA Prepares EA For Possible Wind Project

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NASA has prepared a draft environmental assessment (EA) to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of a proposed wind project that would be capable of generating up to 10 GWh a year at its Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) in Virginia.

Under the proposed action, NASA would construct two 2 MW utility-scale wind turbines on Wallops Island that would be capable of generating approximately 10 GWh of electricity per year, and up to five 2.4 kW residential wind turbines at the main base and mainland. The utility-scale wind turbines would be located on Wallops Island west of the U.S. Navy V-10/V-20 complex.

The purpose of the proposed project is to generate renewable energy at WFF from a technologically proven source in order to meet the requirements of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

The implementation of proven renewable energy sources such as wind turbines or solar panels at WFF would meet the facility's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by limiting the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity, while also reducing WFF's annual operating costs.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has served as a cooperating agency in the preparation of this EA, because it possesses regulatory authority over the proposed action.

New access roads would be constructed to each utility-scale wind turbine. Underground power collection lines would be built to interconnect each wind turbine to the existing Wallops Island electrical distribution system. These power lines would be installed by directional drilling – a trenchless method – to avoid affecting wetlands.

Construction of the two utility-scale wind turbines would take approximately six months.

SOURCE: Wallops Flight Facility Â

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