Articles from North Carolina

N.C. right to study wind power impact on coast

But there are a lot of questions about wind energy, too, and Gov. Bev Perdue is right to insist that the state have more answers about the suitability of wind power for this region. Her views have taken on added importance at a time when the Obama administration is pushing wind power along the coast as well as preparing for offshore exploration.
12 Apr 2009

Coastal Carolina breezes eyed as major energy source

Wind over waters less than 100 feet deep could supply at least 20 percent of the electricity needs of most coastal states, the Interior Department report says. Erecting wind turbines in shallow water would be cheaper and easier than in deep water. But allowing North Carolina's first commercial-scale wind turbines won't be a quick or easy decision.
6 Apr 2009

Wise decision

We congratulate all involved — county commissioners and the county Planning Department — for the county’s tall structure ordinance, which commissioners unanimously approved Monday night. As Lori Wynn says today in a front-page story, it took nine months of public hearings, multiple drafts and countless e-mails, but Carteret County finally has an ordinance regulating wind turbines and communication towers. ...While Progress Energy would have bought the power, that would not have mitigated any electricity to customers because wind is unpredictable and energy generated from industrial wind power can’t be stored so conventional energy sources would still be necessary.
19 Nov 2008

Wind law gets OK

It's taken nine months of public hearings, multiple drafts and countless e-mails of information, but Carteret County finally has an ordinance regulating wind turbines and communication towers. ...The ordinance allows utility-scale turbines up to 550 feet tall and requires a setback of 6 feet for each foot of height - a maximum setback of 3,300 feet. The ordinance also addresses noise from turbines and shadow flicker and has separate standards for turbines under 200 feet tall and for private residential turbines.
19 Nov 2008

County ready to vote on law

The long-awaited tall structures ordinance that will regulate wind turbines and communication towers in the county is set to receive a vote Monday night from the County Board of Commissioners. The board will hold its monthly meeting at 6 p.m. in the boardroom of the administration building. ...The tall structures ordinance has been in the works since March, when commissioners approved a nine-month moratorium on tall structures, such as windmills, in response to a proposed wind farm in the Down East community of Bettie.
16 Nov 2008

Citizens air concerns in hearing; ordinance approval still pending

With lots of information still to digest, materials to read and some changes to be made, the County Board of Commissioners took no action Tuesday night on the proposed tall structures ordinance that will regulate wind turbines and communication towers in the county. ...The public hearing follows months of other public meetings held by the County Planning Commission during the development of the ordinance. A nine-month moratorium was approved in March following concerns of wind farm proposal in the Down East community of Bettie.
22 Oct 2008

N.C. scientific platform is flotsam after trawler hits it

It was a substantial platform on 16 pilings in the Pamlico Sound, built by a collaborative of North Carolina academic research scientists. A fiberglass instrument house was bolted to the platform, a wireless communication system and an antenna were in place, and a wind turbine and high-efficiency solar panels had just been installed. A product of a state initiative to spur innovative research, the 18- by-18-foot structure was ready for the installation of cutting-edge data collection instruments. That is, until a 71-foot steel trawler plowed it all down.
12 Oct 2008

CRC discusses aesthetic impact of offshore wind farms

On a day when the North Carolina coast was buffeted by gusts approaching 40 mph, it seemed only appropriate that coastal regulators spent much of Thursday talking about how to turn that wind into energy. But a regulatory roadmap on how to harness that estimated 1,400 megawatts of natural, renewable and domestic energy in the state's coastal and sound waters remains as choppy as the surf just down the road from where the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission was meeting in Brunswick County. "We didn't want to get caught flat-footed if and when a project comes before us," CRC Chairman Bob Emory said. "But today also showed us the challenges we face to get ready."
25 Sep 2008

Carteret engineers wind turbine rules

Carteret County planners were hit with both praise and criticism this week as work continued on a draft ordinance that would regulate wind turbines and other tall structures in the county. A resident who has followed the development of the ordinance closely and called for provisions protecting the public's safety defended the results of their work. ..."It is not the planning commission's responsibility to find an acceptable location for utility-scale wind turbines in our county if none exists. They are, however, responsible for making sure utility-scale turbines stay out of unacceptable locations."
20 Sep 2008

Wind draft work done

The County Planning Commission was able to finish Thursday reviewing the wind turbine section of the draft tall structures ordinance but still has to go over the communication towers portion. The commission agreed during its special meeting in the boardroom of the administration building to keep the maximum setback for the tallest of utility-scale wind turbines at 3,300 feet. And after three hours of deliberation, the board was ready to make a recommendation on the wind turbine section to county commissioners with only one significant change regarding wind speed.
19 Sep 2008

Plan takes some flak

The County Planning Commission is due to take on the draft tall structures ordinance again Thursday, but a Down East property owner who has a proposed wind farm waiting in the wings says the newest setback regulations for utility-scale wind turbines are too constraining. The planning commission meets at 5 p.m. Thursday in the boardroom of the administration building in hopes of approving a recommendation for the tall structures ordinance, which addresses wind turbines and communication towers, to forward to the County Board of Commissioners before the moratorium on tall structures expires in November. ...The draft originally put setbacks at 1,600 feet or 2.5 feet times the height of the turbine, whichever is greatest, for turbines between 200 and 550 feet tall. With the 3,300-foot-setback, seven properties in eastern Carteret County would still be able to have several utility-scale wind turbines, according to a map compiled by the County Planning Department. Those properties include Luken's Island Timber, Weyerhaeuser Co., Open Grounds Farm, N.C. Coastal Federation, United States of America and more.
18 Sep 2008

NCSU will lead energy smart-grid project

N.C. State University was selected by the National Science Foundation to lead a $28.5 million research initiative to transform the nation's century-old power transmission system into a "smart grid" network that will be able to store energy from solar power, wind farms and other alternative resources.
5 Sep 2008

Planners grind away on wind rules

The wind turbine section of the county's draft tall structures ordinance is going back to the planning department for changes in setbacks for utility scale turbines, waivers and more after a thorough reading Thursday night by the County Planning Commission. The issue garnered mixed feelings from the public during the planning commission's special meeting in the boardroom of the administration building, as some supported the draft ordinance and the proposed setbacks in it while others felt their earlier comments regarding human health near wind turbines "fell on deaf ears."
22 Aug 2008

Location is key

As chairman of Responsible Citizens for Responsible Energy (RCRE), our stand has never been to ban wind turbines from Carteret County. As our name implies, our main goal is to obtain responsible siting in the pending ordinance. It is our elected and appointed officials responsibility to protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents of Carteret County by adopting an ordinance which mandates a safe and responsible setback of wind turbines from neighboring homes and properties.
17 Aug 2008

Turbine setback waiver rejected

Currituck planners decided Tuesday to uphold the county's new wind energy ordinance and oppose a request to exempt small wind turbines from setback requirements. Dean Karico of East Coast Windpower asked the Currituck Planning Board to recommend approving a text amendment ...that exempts small-system wind turbines from property line setbacks. The current ordinance allows small-scale residential turbines, up to 120 feet in height, on lots at least 20,000 square feet. However, the turbine must be set back from property lines by one foot for each foot of the structure's height.
15 Aug 2008

The Naturalist's Corner: The dark side

I would simply like simple answers to simple questions, i.e., what happens when the wind doesn't blow?; what happens when the wind blows too hard?; how many dirty power plants will be decommissioned as a result of embracing wind power?; how many projected new plants now on the books will be scrapped?; will the air over the Smoky Mountains become cleaner and clearer as a result of wind turbines?; will ozone alerts become fewer and farther between?; where are we going to put 300,000 wind turbines to meet the proposed goal of generating 20 percent of the nation's electricity by 2025?
13 Aug 2008

Power line foes to have a say

Victory may be a long shot, but Earl Hendrix is geared up for the fight. For more than eight months, Hendrix, a 76-year-old Hoke County farmer, has been protesting Progress Energy's 230-kilovolt power line expected to run through 21 miles of private land in the county. The route, which begins in Richmond County and travels through Scotland and Hoke to end in Cumberland County, will affect 77 property owners in Hoke County and 29 in Cumberland County. To Progress Energy, the line is a much-needed solution to the state's growing energy needs fueled by a rapidly increasing population and an upswing in electricity usage. But to Hendrix and other landowners in the county, it's a threat to Hoke's financial outlook and future.
10 Aug 2008

Round and round we go

In my humble opinion when any organization actively pursuing wind power options, promoting legislation that would support those options and taking it upon themselves to define responsible siting criteria publishes a "model" ordinance, it's going to be an ordinance promoting the interest of wind production and wind producers. And what could have prompted the need for wind proponents to create their own model ordinance? Well, according to Brent Summerville, wind program manager at ASU's Energy Center, "Some wind ordinances have passed that are not favorable to utility scale wind development.
6 Aug 2008
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