Feature Article


NASA is pleased to announce the availability of the FINAL Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Wallops Flight Facility Alternative Energy Project.

March 23, 2011

The Environmental Office and Facilities Management Branch are pleased to announce the availability of the Final Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) Alternative Energy Project.

The purpose of the Alternative Energy Project is to generate renewable electricity at WFF to assist NASA as an agency in meeting or exceeding the requirements of the 2005 Federal Energy Policy Act and various Executive Orders. The project would also be expected to stabilize WFF’s growing utility costs.

Under the Proposed Action/Preferred Alternative, NASA would install up to an 80-acre system of solar panels at the Main Base that would be capable of generating 10 gigawatt-hours per year of electricity. Additionally, two 2.4 kilowatt residential-scale wind turbines would be installed near the WFF Visitor Center and the entrance gate/security guard station at the Mainland, respectively.

At full buildout, the electricity generated annually by this project would equate to approximately 850 average American homes. Given the large capital investment required for a project of this size, the proposal would not be implemented immediately in its entirety; rather it would be built in multiple smaller phases over time.

**Please note that the Proposed Action differs from what was initially presented in the Draft EA. Due to substantial concerns raised by agencies and organizations regarding potential impacts on birds and bats, the two utility-scale wind turbines on Wallops Island are no longer proposed.**

NASA has also prepared a Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) concluding that an Environmental Impact Statement is not necessary for this project. NASA will take no final action prior to 30 days following publication of the Draft FONSI Notice of Availability in local newspapers.

The Draft FONSI and Final EA are available on the internet in Adobe® format at:

https://code200-external.gsfc.nasa.gov/250-wff/june-2011-finding-no-significant-impact-fonsi

The Final EA and Draft FONSI are also available for review at the following locations:

Chincoteague Island Library, Chincoteague, VA
Eastern Shore Public Library, Accomac, VA
Northampton Free Library, Nassawadox, VA
NASA WFF Technical Library, Wallops Island, VA

Hard copies of the Final EA and Draft FONSI are available by contacting:

Joshua A. Bundick
Lead, Environmental Planning
NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Code 250.W
Wallops Island, VA 23337
phone 757-824-2319
e-mail Joshua.A.Bundick@nasa.gov