Wind developers work with Vance

There are no current issues concerning wind turbines encroaching on low-level military training routes in Vance air space.

I called the base within the past week just to make sure.

 Vance Air Force Base and our office at the Enid Regional Development Alliance have been very intentional in our efforts to make sure both of these important economic drivers in our area are working together. The staff at Vance have been incredibly helpful in their efforts to work with wind energy developers and land owners to make sure there are no issues.

When a wind developer in our region begins to identify an area for development, one of their first meetings is with Vance. They share their plans for development and the personnel at Vance overlays that plan with our local training routes. When there is a conflict, the wind developers have always changed their plans to accommodate the planes.

The issue that needs solved by our Legislature between wind energy and military bases is not fixing something that has already happened. The issue that we need to address is how we as a state stop a “bad actor.” Currently, our state does not have a way to stop development in a military training route except through the Department of Defense Clearing House in D.C. This clearing house is only concerned about pilot safety and not maintaining a competitive advantage as a state. Today, Vance’s top competitive advantage is that we have well protected air space. We need to make sure that is preserved.

 It will be important as we head into the next legislative session that we recognize the proactive approach that Vance Air Force Base, NW Oklahoma wind developers, and land owners have deployed over the last few years to make sure our economy continues to diversify and grow. Personally, I am thankful for all that Vance and wind have done to work together to grow our NW Oklahoma economy.

Brent Kisling

ERDA Executive Director