Business

NC closer to producing offshore wind energy

Posted December 12, 2012

— The U.S. Department of the Interior has designated sites off Cape Fear and the northern Outer Banks for development of offshore wind energy, Gov. Beverly Perdue said Wednesday.

“The development of offshore wind energy diversifies the state’s energy sector, creates much needed jobs in our coastal communities and positions our state for a 21st century economy," Perdue said in a statement. "Today’s announcement sends a clear message that our state is open for business, and we will lead the Southeast in the development of the nation’s clean-energy economy.”

A formal "call for information and nominations" is being published in the Federal Register. The notice invites interested parties to seek one or more commercial leases to build and operate an offshore wind farm.

Other states have already gone through this step, and recently the Department of Interior has moved forward with lease options in Virginia, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. No turbines have been placed in the water anywhere off the coast yet.

North Carolina has the best offshore wind resources on the East Coast according to studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

“Jobs in the wind industry are already coming to North Carolina, but we are exporting our manufacturing products to states like Texas and Iowa," Zak Keith, offshore wind organizer for the North Carolina chapter of the Sierra Club, said in a statement. "It’s time we start building our own future. We have a strategic energy reserve right off our coast, and we don’t have to risk an oil spill to get to it.”

The Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management also is seeking public input for determining significant issues and alternatives to be analyzed in any environmental assessment done on proposed wind projects.

Public comments will be accepted for 45 days, and the bureau plans to schedule information meetings to accept comments, officials said.

45 Comments

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  • piene2 Dec 14, 4:05 p.m.

    "I just don't see these wind-turbines generating enough electricity to make a difference. I'm no expert though.

    mxteam44

    Than check with those who are and learn how important wind farms are becoming.

  • intrinsic_value Dec 13, 4:43 p.m.

    Bev's crackin me up. You go girl :-)

    Keep improving solar (without animal research or by-products). No nukes. Get out of the ocean.

  • Bill Brasky Dec 13, 4:18 p.m.

    From the comments I've seen so far, people are arguing that solar power doesn't work. However, isn't this article about windpower? About 5 years ago when T Boone Pickins recommended it I thought Americans were united and overall in favor of it. Then Obama recommends it and now it becomes political. Oh well.

  • mxteam44 Dec 13, 3:38 p.m.

    I just don't see these wind-turbines generating enough electricity to make a difference. I'm no expert though.

  • wayneboyd Dec 13, 3:05 p.m.

    You haven't seen the latest Obama regulations on drilling for anything...yet.

  • Carolina Dec 13, 2:57 p.m.

    "Sounds great huh? How is the electricity wired back to the mainland?? Would be extremely expensive to do. Electricity cannot be transmitted through the air. Lightpoles, lines underneath the ocean floor? Need to build more coal plants with more clean burn technology."

    Good point, except...if we build more coal plants, won't we need lightpoles and/or lines to transmit the energy from coal technology too? I'm not sure why the means of transmission is a drawback for wind power, but not coal.

  • mayhem Dec 13, 2:47 p.m.

    Sounds great huh? How is the electricity wired back to the mainland?? Would be extremely expensive to do. Electricity cannot be transmitted through the air. Lightpoles, lines underneath the ocean floor? Need to build more coal plants with more clean burn technology.

    daheels3

    The expert has spoken! I'm glad we cleared that up.

  • fishon Dec 13, 2:37 p.m.

    Put turbines on top of oil platforms. The best of both worlds...

  • delta29alpha Dec 13, 11:35 a.m.

    The largest Solar farm currently in US is Copper Mountain is 380 acres holding 775,000 solar panels only produces 55 Megawatts of DC power, less once converted to AC. This is at at optimum productivity which occurs maybe six hours a day and only on sunny days. may produce theoretical power for 17,000 homes. It can't be used directly but has to be piped into the grid through regular power plants. Compare to the average nuclear power plant of 846 Megawatts.

  • delta29alpha Dec 13, 11:11 a.m.

    OK I'm not against wind or solar but lets keep our expectations reasonable. Your power will not be free or even cheaper. Some of you howl about being pushed around by big oil, Well how about big wind...(yes I said that).... These fields cost hundreds of millions to build and maintain. Who do think are going to build them...That's right the only ones who can afford to build them, big corporations. They will expect to make a substantial profit for their troubles. And I doubt they are going to sell their power to you directly. no they are going to sell it to the power companies who will then disperse it through the grids they already own. The same is true of solar energy farms.

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