As we saluted Newport commissioners a week ago for strengthening Newport’s tall structure ordinances, we salute our county commissioners for strengthening the county’s tall structure ordinance, making it more difficult for wind energy companies to erect industrial wind turbines in either Newport and its extraterritorial district or in the county at large.
In Friday’s paper, News-Times staff writer Jackie Starkey pointed out that what county commissioners did Wednesday night makes “it unlikely wind projects will be viable within county limits.”
The action by both boards was in response to plans announced last year by Texas-based Torch Renewable Energy LLC to erect 40 industrial wind turbines almost 500 feet high and a solar panel farm (which Newport commissioners will address) on 50-75 acres between Little Deep Creek and Little Deep Road in Newport’s extraterritorial district.
Although Torch said Jan. 31 that it was withdrawing its request for what was called the Mill Pond project – apparently deciding it wouldn’t receive a variance from Newport’s tall structure ordinance – it has not withdrawn its permit application for the project from the N.C. Utilities Commission, the state agency to which it initially submitted its application.
So should management change its mind it could renew the process again.
Now, however, it would be more difficult to erect the turbines, which a majority of citizens in both Newport and its outlying area and the county have said they do not want.
On the line, had the industrial wind turbines been erected, was the future of the Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Base, a Marine Corps bastion of national defense and the major employer in eastern North Carolina, and the quality of life in Carteret County and its neighbors.
Just as Newport commissioners listened to their constituents and responded, so have Carteret County’s commissioners.
We applaud and thank both boards.
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