Articles filed under Impact on Landscape from North Carolina

Changes to Chowan County's wind energy facility ordinance move forward

One study noted that people who live or work in close proximity to industrial wind turbines experienced symptoms that include “decreased quality of life, annoyance, stress, sleep disturbance, headache, anxiety, depression and cognitive dysfunction. Some have also felt anger, grief or a sense of injustice. Suggested causes of symptoms include a combination of wind turbine noise, infrasound, dirty electricity, ground current and shadow flicker.” As a result of these findings, several European countries increased the setback requirements for turbines from neighboring properties.
18 Jun 2020

Tall wind turbines face headwinds in Eastern NC

Opposition to wind farms has intensified around the country in recent years as the skyscraping towers encroach on residential areas and turbine designs get bigger and taller and ever more powerful. Some who live near these energy farms in other states are complaining of headaches, dizziness, sleep disruption and general annoyance caused by whooshing blades, flickering shadows and strobing hazard lights.
13 Aug 2016

Wind turbines may discourage coastal renters

According to the study, it’s results show that from a survey of 792 beach home renters, of which 484 responded, none of the respondents were willing to pay more to rent a home in sight of offshore wind turbines – thus providing evidence against the belief some wind energy supporters have that turbines could become a tourist attraction – and many of them said they’d vacation elsewhere if turbines were in sight of the beach. 
10 Apr 2016

Bald Head officials want turbines farther from lighthouse

"I think the concern is that the visitors experience the view-shed of a 200-year-old lighthouse," said Chris Webb, director of the Old Baldy Foundation. "There's been a concerted effort from the beginning ... to have a very harmonious environment, so when you look over the island you don’t see massive structures. You see some rooftops, but mostly what you see is the maritime forest’s color."
15 Jan 2016

Bald Head officials want turbines farther from lighthouse

"I think the concern is that the visitors experience the view-shed of a 200-year-old lighthouse," said Chris Webb, director of the Old Baldy Foundation. "There's been a concerted effort from the beginning ... to have a very harmonious environment, so when you look over the island you don’t see massive structures. You see some rooftops, but mostly what you see is the maritime forest’s color."
15 Jan 2016

New county slogan? . . . Where land, sky meet turbines

Maine's experience with is instructive. While everyone was worried about the "visual" pollution of 450-foot tall white towers sticking up four to five times higher than the surrounding forest, the most invasive aspect of wind turbines has actually been the incessant low frequency "thuds" that come from the blades as they rotate. This has caused issues for the people who live within the sound's radius which, even in forested areas, is significantly further away than the quarter mile setback.
10 Mar 2012

It's deja vue all over again

But what is Pantego Wind Energy LLC? It is a subsidiary of Invenergy, a Chicago-based energy corporation that is one of the five largest (and the number one independent) owners of wind generation plants in the U.S. This corporation with more than $130 million in assets wants you (and me) to subsidize their Pantego Wind Facility.
23 Nov 2011

Wind power or hot air?; Don't sacrifice WNC's ridges to industrial greed

At a November forum on wind power at UNCA, a young staffer from a regional activist group puffed that he had dedicated his life to fighting mountaintop-removal coal mining, blustering that he wasn't about to let "these NIMBYs" who oppose industrializing Western North Carolina's ridge tops stand in his way. I share his anger over mountaintop-removal mining, but as a renewable-energy advocate I find his passion for utility-scale wind power in WNC sorely misplaced - and painfully ironic.
26 May 2010

Green Scene: Blowing in the wind

There's a cold wind blowing on the hopes of wind-energy advocates in Western North Carolina, thanks to a pending bill in the N.C. General Assembly. As early as May 12, state legislators will take up Senate Bill 1068 when they reconvene in the short session. The bill - which would establish a regulatory system for wind-energy farms - has stirred fierce debate between advocates and opponents of wind energy in the mountains of North Carolina.
12 May 2010

Huge industrial windmills on ridge tops a bad idea

In 1983, Sugar Top Condos were built on the top of Sugar Mountain in Avery County. Sugar Top Condos rise 131 feet above the ridgeline and can be seen for several miles. These towering condos were so devastating to the scenic splendor of the mountains that the General Assembly wisely enacted strict ridge top laws to stop these monstrosities from appearing throughout our mountains. While the statewide law was too late for Sugar Mountain, the law stopped similar projects of shocking heights and destruction of the mountains. Sugar Top Condos is a permanent reminder that once a structure is built on our mountain tops, we cannot unbuild it.
27 Aug 2009

Clean energy future may be blowing in the wind

Will wind-generated power save the environment or sacrifice it? The answer depends on who you ask ..."Your senators are very brave in what they're doing," said Lisa Linowes of New Hampshire-based Wind Action. "The legislature already concluded when it adopted the Ridge ordinance that your mountains have cultural significance to the state. When asked now to consider whether that value is worth more - or less - than wind generated electrons on the grid, your mountain senators are doing what most politicians in the U.S. have not done. They're putting a cold eye to the options and deciding wind is not worth the sacrifice, at least for now."
16 Aug 2009

Looser windmill rules defeated

Rows of wind turbines are unlikely to be spinning atop mountain ridges anytime soon. A Senate committee on Wednesday rejected a proposal that would have paved the way for large-scale wind energy production in the mountains. Large wind turbines are banned under the state's interpretation of a law restricting ridge development. The Agriculture Committee advanced a proposal that would keep it that way, changing the ridge law to cement the ban.
6 Aug 2009

Wind farms: Better places than atop our mountains

If the nature of this debate sends one clear message, it's that wind power legislation needs to be thoroughly studied, not rushed through. The locus of the debate isn't over wind power itself, but of size, scale and most of all - location. Sen. Steve Goss of Watauga County wants farms permitted on ridge top locations in his area; Sens. Martin Nesbitt, D-Buncombe, John Snow, D-Murphy, and Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, point to the fact that such large structures would run afoul of the mountain ridge law.
22 Jul 2009

Windy debate on state gems

The debate has its roots in a condominium project that popped up on a mountain ridge in the 1980s. There were no mountain area zoning laws to prevent it, and when the Sugar Top project emerged to stick out like a sore thumb, the General Assembly quickly acted. It adopted the Ridge Law, intended to stop the erection of excessively tall structures atop mountain ridges in altitudes of 3,000 feet or greater.
19 Jul 2009

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=North+Carolina&topic=Impact+on+Landscape&type=Article
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