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North Carolina moves to limit wind projects

The North Carolina Senate voted overwhelmingly to ban large turbines from the state's ridgelines. The North Carolina State Senate has voted overwhelmingly to ban large wind turbines from the state's scenic western ridgelines. The 42-1 vote on Thursday represents the strongest stand against wind turbines taken by lawmakers in any state.

The North Carolina Senate voted overwhelmingly to ban large turbines from the state's ridgelines. The North Carolina State Senate has voted overwhelmingly to ban large wind turbines from the state's scenic western ridgelines.

The 42-1 vote on Thursday represents the strongest stand against wind turbines taken by lawmakers in any state. The bill would amend a 1983 "ridge law" to allow only turbines that are 100 feet or smaller to be placed on ridgelines above 3,000 feet. This effectively bars industrial-sized turbines - which can reach several hundred feet in height - from the windy mountaintops.

The bill has been sent to the state's House of Representatives for consideration. However, the House is due to adjourn in a few days, so the debate is likely to resume after the legislature returns next MayMarch, according to Brandon R. Blevins, the wind program coordinator for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

If the bill becomes law, it would "virtually ban two-thirds of the onshore wind resource in N.C," he said in an e-mail message.

The Senate action in North Carolina marks the first time a state legislative body has voted to ban turbines, according to... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The North Carolina Senate voted overwhelmingly to ban large turbines from the state's ridgelines. The North Carolina State Senate has voted overwhelmingly to ban large wind turbines from the state's scenic western ridgelines.

The 42-1 vote on Thursday represents the strongest stand against wind turbines taken by lawmakers in any state. The bill would amend a 1983 "ridge law" to allow only turbines that are 100 feet or smaller to be placed on ridgelines above 3,000 feet. This effectively bars industrial-sized turbines - which can reach several hundred feet in height - from the windy mountaintops.

The bill has been sent to the state's House of Representatives for consideration. However, the House is due to adjourn in a few days, so the debate is likely to resume after the legislature returns next MayMarch, according to Brandon R. Blevins, the wind program coordinator for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

If the bill becomes law, it would "virtually ban two-thirds of the onshore wind resource in N.C," he said in an e-mail message.

The Senate action in North Carolina marks the first time a state legislative body has voted to ban turbines, according to Christine Real de Azua, a spokeswoman for the American Wind Energy Association. New Jersey had a temporary moratorium on offshore wind projects while the state studied the matter, but now New Jersey is moving ahead with offshore projects, she said.

Around the country, some counties have enacted height limitations on turbines.

Ivan Urlaub, executive director of the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, pointed out that the state legislature just passed a number of other bills that increase renewable energy incentives, including a five-year extension of a generous tax credit that now is on the governor's desk.

The potential blanket ban on big turbines "is very much an issue about do people want to look at wind turbines in the mountains of North Carolina," Mr. Urlaub said. "It's not about the state's commitment to renewable energy or lack of commitment."

He acknowledged, however, that the vote "has had the effect of raising concerns about North Carolina's commitment to clean energy."

The bill passed on Thursday in the Senate would assist the development of wind along the North Carolina coast by establishing an environmental permitting process, according to Mr. Urlaub.


Source: http://greeninc.blogs.nytim...

AUG 7 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/21629-north-carolina-moves-to-limit-wind-projects
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