ODU will build tool for wind energy site planning
DoD grant will fund statewide project
Old Dominion University will develop an online tool for the placement of wind-energy projects so they don’t interfere with military installations, with a Department of Defense grant of $775,000.
The DoD’s Office of Economic Adjustment awarded the Military Installation Sustainability program grant to the state, according to a news release from Gov. Ralph Northam’s office Wednesday. It will be used to fund work at ODU to create an online tool that will be used across the state to plan locations for wind farms and other renewable energy projects. Military, industrial and community members will be able to identify good locations for energy resources, and identify impact on military missions, training and operations.
“As clean energy continues to grow rapidly across the commonwealth, it is becoming increasingly important that we work together to mitigate any impacts on our military installations and the adjacent communities,” Northam said in a statement. “Virginia is home to valuable land and air assets that are vital to our economy, and the training and readiness of our service members.”
Renewable energy can interfere with radar systems, military communication and airspace without careful planning. Virginia is launching several initiatives to promote green energy, including Dominion Energy Inc.’s offshore wind farm 27 miles from Virginia Beach, which is in the final phase of constructing its pilot project. The $7.8 billion wind farm, set to be the largest in the nation, will have 220 turbines producing power for 650,000 homes by completion in 2026.
William & Mary and James Madison University will partner on the team building the online tool, with ODU geography professor Tom Allen as principal investigator. Jerry Cronin of ODU’s OpenSeas Technology Innovation Hub will coordinate the project, according to the university.