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Newport wind farm downsizes

NEWPORT, CARTERET COUNTY – Torch Renewable Energy LLC is hoping to bring the first wind farm in the state to Newport. The initial plans for the farm have been downsized. The farm should hold a total of 40 to 50 wind turbines.

The downsize came after negotiations with Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. Originally the farm was expected to be 100 megawatts, now it has been modified to 80 megawatts. This is because the height of some of the turbines could have gotten in the way of safe operations with the air station. Newport Town Manager Tim White says he expects the turbines to each be about 500 feet in height. Torch Renewable Energy Vice President of Development Rocky Ray says they plan on negotiating with many different agencies and departments to ensure their wind farm is as beneficial as possible.

The land for the wind farm would span about 7,000 acres around Mill Pond in Newport. This land is owned by the Weyerhaueser Company and would be leased to Torch Renewable Energy.

Weyerhaeuser spokesperson Nancy Thompson says they have worked with several wind farms across the nation and are confident Torch Renewable Energy will do a good job with their land. She says, very few trees will need to come down for the turbines to go up.

Ray says the energy harvested by the wind turbines will be sold to Duke Energy which means it will be used in eastern Carolina.