Articles from North Carolina
An interesting debate on whether wind energy should continue to be deployed in the Appalachia area of the United States.
Newport residents have raised concerns at public town meetings. The primary concerns have been potential impacts to military operations from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, potential impacts to surrounding property values, potential health and safety issues from shadow flicker and glint, potential environmental impacts and potential noise problems.
The ordinance has a minimum setback for all wind turbines of 1,300 feet from the property lines, plus an additional setback of 2½ feet for every foot of height on the turbines. There’s also a shutdown requirement if the turbines produce noise over 45 decibels at the property line for more than 48 consecutive hours.
Torch Renewable Energy LLC is hoping to bring the first wind farm in the state to Newport. The initial plans for the farm have been downsized. The farm should hold a total of 40 to 50 wind turbines.
Mr. White said the company has reduced the number of turbines it proposes for their facility from 50 to 40 and have rearranged some of the proposed turbines’ locations to accommodate Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point.
A limited liability company is proposing to build a wind energy facility off Mill Creek Road, between the town’s corporate limits and Mill Pond, but the town planning board and council are working on regulations to make sure it doesn’t become a problem for neighboring property owners.
Permits for tall structures are going to be on hold for the next 58 days while the Newport council and planning board examine the town zoning ordinance to see if changes are needed to protect public health and safety. The council held a special meeting Tuesday evening, attended by about 26 citizens, where after a public hearing, the town council unanimously approved a resolution for a 58-day moratorium on permitting for tall structures.
A Nevada-based group that has plans to build a solar farm at 769 Fowler Road, west of Highway 311. Carol Jean Solar, LLC planned to build a 4-megawatt solar energy facility in the area, but unless planning and zoning rules change and a Solar Farm Text Amendment is adopted, the group may have to build its facility elsewhere.
Formerly called the Tall Structures Ordinance, it has been renamed the Pamlico County Wind Energy Ordinance. That better reflects the original reason that commissioners told the planning board last year to develop a document. That came after a Florida company made a presentation and indicated it was interested in building wind turbines in the county.
When the U.S. Department of the Interior brought an offshore wind farm simulation to coastal North Carolina this week, residents weren't thrilled with what they saw. The possibility of seeing an array of red warning lights on 460-foot-tall turbines far offshore on clear nights drew a thumbs-down from many viewers.
"I wouldn't object to these fields being 15 nautical miles out but they have been proposed near our community at 6 and 7 miles because that's where wind conditions and shallow water is," Scott explained, saying that this is too close for comfort. The BOEM study wasn't linked to any actual concrete plan for development of wind turbine farms off the coast but served as a hypothetical to inform both the public.
The legislation sets parameters for permit applications that include public hearings so opponents can raise concerns. State regulators could deny an application if a project could adversely affect the environment, private landowners or military operations.
Commanders of bases like Cherry Point air station and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base cannot approve or oppose any wind turbine project under orders from the U.S. Secretary of Defense. This bill requires that they be notified and would allow hearings on proposed wind turbine projects, which lie in the flight path or training areas for the military.
Atlantic Wind, a subsidiary of Iberdrola Renewables, has yet to sign a contract with a power company to purchase electricity generated by the proposed 150 turbines, said Wayne Harris, director of economic development in Pasquotank County.
"This misguided policy acts much like a hidden tax. Experience has shown that renewable energy mandates, like the one on the books in North Carolina, have a negative impact on the economy and an adverse impact on your constituents' pocketbooks."
A handful of House Republicans dealt a stunning blow to state Rep. Mike Hager's bill to phase out slowly North Carolina's subsidies, tax credits, and purchase mandates propping up renewable energy companies. Despite this setback, the Rutherford County Republican said he plans to bring House Bill 298 to another committee vote.
An F-15E Strike Eagle drops through the sky on a low-level training mission and encounters - a wind turbine. With turbine blades reaching within 8 feet of F-15s on missions out of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, the proposed Pantego Wind Energy project resulted in a serious risk.
"What this bill does is try to soft land this business and to be competitive you need to move from government subsidy you need to move off the taxpayer rolls. I see this as an entitlement programme that is beginning to get its roots into our state. I see it as a regressive type tax." Hager's bill is part of a nationwide campaign to repeal state-based renewable portfolio standards.
A House panel on Wednesday narrowly approved an effort to scale back and ultimately repeal a 2007 law requiring North Carolina electric utilities to generate a percentage of their power through alternative sources and locate energy savings. The House commerce subcommittee voted 11-10 in favor of the bill that would cap renewable energy and efficiency requirements by power companies, electric cooperatives and city-owned electric utilities at roughly half the level the law ultimately demands.
A House subcommittee narrowly passed a bill Wednesday that chips away at a 2007 law that aimed to increase conservation efforts and renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass. Rep. Chris Millis, R-Pender, one of the bill's sponsors, said the intent is to stop the burden of renewable energy subsidies and mandates on ratepayers.