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Company proposes to build 50 wind turbines in Carteret County

Wind turbines about 500 feet tall could be popping up in Carteret County. Torch Renewable Energy LLC is proposed a plan to build a wind energy facility in the town of Newport and Carteret County.

Torch Renewable Energy LLC is proposing to build a wind energy facility from Newport’s corporate limit past Mill Pond into Carteret County’s jurisdiction. The company wants to build 50 wind turbines 500 feet tall along either side of Mill Creek Road. They are also planning on building a 50 acre solar panel farm by Little Deep Creek Road.

Monday, Newport drafted new regulations for any tall structures being built in Newport. Chief Building Inspector and Town Planner, Bob Chambers said they are doing this in order to help prevent problems for people living near these building sites.

“We wanted to create a section dealing with wind energy and their impact on the local town of Newport,” Chambers said.

The drafted regulations said these wind turbines must be built at least 1300 feet away from any private residence. Residences also cannot hear any noise over 45 decibels from the wind turbines for more than 48 straight hours. General Electric, which builds wind turbines, indicates that 45 decibels is about as loud as a running refrigerator.

Chambers said the drafted ordinance will be present to the town council on November 14th. Chambers said he wants to make sure the town of Newport is protected

“The ordinance, when it’s adopted, will have rules that they play by. If they are going to play, they’re going to have to play by our rules,” Chambers said.

Either way, both Newport and Carteret County have to approve the company’s plans before anything is set in stone.

Torch Renewable Energy LLC, is currently applying for permits with the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources in order begin the building process. Chambers said a public hearing about the project will be held in the next two months.