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Kitty Hawk wary of offshore wind project  

Credit:  BY NEEL KELLER | SENTINEL STAFF | Outer Banks Sentinel | obsentinel.womacknewspapers.com ~~

At its Jan. 7 monthly meeting, the Kitty Hawk Town Council discussed a proposed resolution regarding the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s announcement last month of a Call for Information and Nominations to gauge the offshore wind industry’s interest in entering into commercial wind leases in three locations off the coast of North Carolina.

Call Area Kitty Hawk is located six miles offshore the town.

Reviewing the resolution, Mayor Pro Tem Gary Perry said, “I asked the manager to work us up a resolution opposing wind turbines any closer than 20 miles off our beach.” He added that the resolution would also ask the bureau to allow the town to participate in “any development, planning or construction of any transmission line that may come ashore on Kitty Hawk beach.”

Perry said that local hearings were scheduled to review “viewshed” findings in recent studies, explaining, “In other words, how far away can you see a turbine? How much do you see of them from different perspectives, at night, during the day and at different distances from the beach?”

He emphasized, “At 20 miles, on a clear day, you will see the turbines.”

Noting that offshore wind projects of this type were more suited to areas like Wilmington, which “has the infrastructure…population and industry that can use that kind of electricity,” Perry observed, “Our whole industry is tourism. And if we put windmills starting six miles from our beach, we’re certainly going to see those.”

He added that approximately 200 of the turbines – “about 10 miles deep and 20 miles wide” – would be required to generate the desired wattage. “That gives you a feel for how many of these things you need out there. You need a whole field of them.”

During discussion, Mayor Clifton Perry commented, “I would rather ask that they not do it at all.”

Gary Perry replied, “Here’s the harsh truth: everthing from three miles out is federal property. If they want to do it, they’re going to do it. It’s better to at least have some input in how they do it.”

Councilwoman Emilie Klutz commented, “After 20 years of just throwing money at all this stuff, if they’re determined to do it, they’re going to do it no matter what we think.”

Following discussion, the council voted unanimously to approve the resolution, which stated, “The Kitty Hawk Town Council wishes to make known to the North Carolina Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that the council does not agree with the wind turbines being located six miles off the coast and requests that the wind turbines be placed at least 20 miles off the coast. Be it further resolved that the Kitty Hawk Town Council requests notification of any plans to install a transmission line from the wind turbines to the existing infrastructure in Kitty Hawk.”

The council also scheduled a public hearing for Feb. 4 regarding a proposed text amendment to Section 42-527, Small Wind Energy Facilities, allowing up to four wind turbines with a maximum height of 70 feet on a single property for an electric public utility research project.

Source:  BY NEEL KELLER | SENTINEL STAFF | Outer Banks Sentinel | obsentinel.womacknewspapers.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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