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Corps wants study of Duke Energy-UNC wind project

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants Duke Energy to conduct an environmental impact study of its offshore wind power project in Pamlico Sound. Duke plans to build up to three wind turbines within a 3-mile-square area 7.3 miles west of Avon and 9.1 miles of Frisco. Both communities are on the Outer Banks' Hatteras Island.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants Duke Energy to conduct an environmental impact study of its offshore wind power project in Pamlico Sound.

Duke plans to build up to three wind turbines within a 3-mile-square area 7.3 miles west of Avon and 9.1 miles of Frisco. Both communities are on the Outer Banks' Hatteras Island. Electrical cable buried under the sound will connect the turbines to the island.

The project, announced last September, is a test by Duke and UNC Chapel Hill of commercial-scale wind energy along the N.C. coast.

While the coast has strong, plentiful winds, ecological risks, engineering obstacles and ways to reduce the negative impacts of wind farms need to be evaluated.

Among concerns are that Outer Banks residents and tourists will object to the sight of towering turbines. At their position in eastern Pamlico Sound, the tops of Duke's turbines would be visible on the horizon.

Fish and wildlife, fishermen and boaters could be affected.

UNC published a broad analysis of those issues last summer and will conduct more research on Duke's turbines. The UNC study said a full-blown, offshore wind farm could create as many as 9,000 permanent jobs.... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants Duke Energy to conduct an environmental impact study of its offshore wind power project in Pamlico Sound.

Duke plans to build up to three wind turbines within a 3-mile-square area 7.3 miles west of Avon and 9.1 miles of Frisco. Both communities are on the Outer Banks' Hatteras Island. Electrical cable buried under the sound will connect the turbines to the island.

The project, announced last September, is a test by Duke and UNC Chapel Hill of commercial-scale wind energy along the N.C. coast.

While the coast has strong, plentiful winds, ecological risks, engineering obstacles and ways to reduce the negative impacts of wind farms need to be evaluated.

Among concerns are that Outer Banks residents and tourists will object to the sight of towering turbines. At their position in eastern Pamlico Sound, the tops of Duke's turbines would be visible on the horizon.

Fish and wildlife, fishermen and boaters could be affected.

UNC published a broad analysis of those issues last summer and will conduct more research on Duke's turbines. The UNC study said a full-blown, offshore wind farm could create as many as 9,000 permanent jobs.

The Corps said Tuesday it wants Duke to prepare an environmental impact statement of the project, an undertaking that can take up to two years. The study is likely to focus on the effects on navigable waters, the sound bottom and coastal wetlands, the agency said.

A public meeting to discuss the scope of the study will be held in Manteo on March 18. Written comments will be taken until April 2. Write: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wilmington District, Regulatory Division, Attn: File Number SAW 2009-01880, P.O. Box 1000, Washington, NC 27889-1000.


Source: http://www.charlotteobserve...

FEB 24 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/24789-corps-wants-study-of-duke-energy-unc-wind-project
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