The North Carolina Utilities Commission renewed Tuesday a certificate to construct a 20,000 acre wind turbine farm in Pasquotank and Perquimans counties.
The state requires the certificate be renewed within two years of the Utilities Commission first granting approval to build, according to a NCUC order made public Tuesday. But the project remains on hold. 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.
Straddling Pasquotank and Perquimans counties, the 300 megawatt wind farm is one of three similar projects proposed in northeastern North Carolina following a 2007 North Carolina law that mandates power companies offer 12.5 percent of their portfolio in renewable energy by 2021. A bill in the North Carolina General Assembly that would reduce the renewable energy mandate is set to be heard in a senate committee meeting today. Sponsored by Rep. Mike Hager, R-Rutherford, the bill was voted down in a House committee last week.
In addition to the mandate, government incentives that help offset construction costs also sparked attempts to build wind farms. The other two wind farms proposed in the region are in Camden County and in Beaufort County.
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