Library filed under Zoning/Planning from North Carolina
At their meeting on Sept. 21, commissioners expressed their intent to extend the moratorium for another six month period since the current one is set to expire on Oct. 6. This would mark the second time that the moratorium has been extended. Commissioners want to extend the moratorium again to give county staff members more time to iron out the details of a new county policy on large solar farms.
Rather than reprint the lyrics to Bob Dylan’s immortal “Blowing in the Wind” to lead the reader into this story about Chowan County’s wind energy facility ordinance, let’s cut to the chase.
Apex Clean Energy has shelved plans to build a multi-million dollar wind power project in Perquimans County but will pursue building the Timbermill Wind project in Chowan County where it did win approval. The company made the announcement last Wednesday.
The moratorium would be a major setback for wind projects in northeastern North Carolina, including Apex Clean Energy's proposed Timbermill project in Perquimans and Chowan and the Little Alligator wind farm in Tyrrell County. The moratorium would allow the Amazon Wind Farm US East in Pasquotank and Perquimans counties to continue to operate, however.
In a 3-2 vote, the Perquimans County Board denied an application by Apex Clean Energy to erect the Timbermill wind energy facility. Timbermill, if approved, would have sited 57 turbines, each standing 599-feet tall. The order detailing the decision can be accessed by selecting the document icon on this page. The Conclusion of the order provided below.
A proposal to build the nation’s tallest wind energy turbines in Eastern North Carolina is on hold after Perquimans County commissioners denied a local permit to the project developer, Apex Clean Energy. ...The project faced particularly strong opposition in Perquimans County, where 54 of the proposed 57 turbines were to be built on timber land owned by Weyerehaeuser Corp.
“There is a place for this project, but from a noise level it’s not here,” Johnson said. “There is too much at risk. They (Apex) need to be sent back … on the noise side.” Essick said Apex has not presented proof that property values won’t be hurt.
EDENTON — The family farming operation that includes the chairman of the Board of Commissioners would be the second-largest lessor of land on the Chowan side of a proposed 300-megawatt wind farm project expected to straddle Chowan and Perquimans counties, a permit application shows.
Peeler, the board’s chief advocate for a bigger property setback, continued to insist that wind turbines aren’t safe for the residents who live near them. He made several motions, all of which died for the lack of a second, before making a final plea to other board members that they revisit the setback issue at a later date.
The board voted 5-1 Monday to delay action on recommendations by the Perquimans Planning Board that include increasing the setback requirement between wind turbine towers and the nearest house.
The Perquimans County Planning Board is recommending tighter restrictions on wind power facilities, but not the one-mile setbacks that some opponents want. The recommendation would require a half-mile setback from any residence. The setbacks from property lines and roads would remain as they are — two and half times the height of the wind turbine.
Chowan County residents spoke in favor of proposed amendments to the county wind turbine ordinance, recommended by the county planning board, at a Board of Commissioners’ meeting Monday night. The residents presented a petition to the commissioners with nearly 650 signatures, showing support for the commissioners to take up the proposed amendments.
“I support these amendments, knowing full well they are contentious to anybody who would be interested in coming here to establish a wind farm, because the citizens of the county have asked for this. This is what they’ve demanded,” said Commissioner Elaine Crittenton.
Newer, tighter restrictions have been put in place for wind energy facilities proposed for in town or its zoning jurisdiction. The council unanimously approved Monday at a special joint meeting of the council and planning board a set of amendments to the town’s tall structures ordinance.
This ordinance, adopted by Newport, North Carolina, addresses key concerns with siting large scale wind energy facilities. A portion of the ordinance is excerpted below covering setback distances, noise, decommissioning and property value guarantees. The full ordinance can be accessed from the links on this page.
One of the biggest items of discussion Thursday was the inclusion of a property value guarantee, a regulation that would require the developers of a wind energy facility to reimburse neighboring property owners if their property values were negatively impacted by the facility. Such a guarantee exists in the current version of the tall structures ordinance, which was adopted in November 2013, but the town planning board’s recommended amendments include removing the guarantee.
Torch Renewable Energy LLC, the Houston-based alternative energy giant, announced Friday it will abandon plans to develop a hybrid wind and solar facility near Mill Pond outside Newport. “In light of the unlikely prospect of acquiring a variance from the county’s current tall structures ordinance, we have decided not to move forward with the project,” Torch Energy's vice president of development Rocky Ray said in a prepared release.
Commissioners requested the meeting in November to consider amendments to the county’s tall structure ordinance amid public outcry over a proposed wind farm in Newport. The tall structures ordinance, originally drafted by county planning in 2008, was one of the first of its kind in the state and spells out regulations for permits on turbines and cell towers.
Now that a temporary ban on the issuance of permits for wind-energy facilities is in place, the work of Carteret County leaders is just beginning. The Carteret County Board of Commissioners adopted an ordinance that imposes a 60-day moratorium on building permits for wind-energy generation to give the board time to review the county’s regulations for wind turbines and other tall structures.
More than 400 county residents and others came out Thursday to voice their concerns and listen as commissioners voted unanimously to impose a moratorium on the issuance of permits for wind energy facilities.