A Raleigh couple, Nelson and Dianna Paul, are seeking permission from the Public Utilities Commission to build North Carolina’s first three commercial-scale wind mills on coastal property they own.
The turbines would generate 4.5 megawatts of electricity – enough to provide power for about 900 homes. The power would be sold to Progress Energy to help it provide more green energy.
The utilities commission did not vote on the proposal today, and it may not take action for a couple of months. Many residents of the coastal community of Bettie, where the Pauls own property, oppose the windmills, which would stand nearly 500 feet tall. The structures would be taller than the Wachovia Building in downtown Raleigh and dwarf the 169-foot Cape Lookout lighthouse on the Outer Banks.
While the Golden Wind Farm project is small scale as wind farms go, the Pauls may be the first of a wave of green energy prospectors seeking to fill the need for alternative energy.
North Carolina leaders passed a new law last year requiring utilities to meet 12.5 percent of energy demand by 2020 by generating or buying cleaner renewable energy including wind and solar power.
“The project is needed because wind power is a renewable resource,” Paul told the State Utilities Commission during a hearing today.
By Wade Rawlins
5 February 2008
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