Wind Power News: North Carolina
These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.
Jim Robison, a former Chowan County Planning Board member, said the Clean Energy Technology Center is “joined at the hip with the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association,” which is a professional advocacy organization for renewable energy developers. When the planning board was considering a wind ordinance in response to an application to build 600-foot turbines for the Timbermill wind project, Robison said, Stephen Kalland, Clean Energy Technology Center executive director, and another center official endorsed the project and dismissed residents’ concerns. They handed out fliers about wind energy with contact information for wind developers.
Several companies developing wind farm projects in northeastern North Carolina are taking a wait-and-see approach after Governor Roy Cooper recently signed a bill with an 18-month moratorium on such projects, but then issued an order allowing “behind the scenes work” to continue during that moratorium. In late July, Cooper signed House Bill 589 that contained good news for solar energy developers – including a competitive bidding process and a new solar leasing program. But it also contained the 18-month wind farm . . .
In signing wide-ranging solar legislation into law last week, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order to blunt the impact of the bill’s 18-month moratorium on wind power – tacked on amid controversy in the legislative session’s final hours. Little surprised to see the wind provision enacted as part of an otherwise popular solar policy, clean energy advocates welcomed the decree. But in the face of a hostile state Senate, they say the fate of the industry after . . .
Despite a moratorium on new N.C. wind projects, Apex Clean Energy Inc. continues to “explore options” for its proposed $300 million Timbermill Wind farm. The moratorium’s proponents presented it as a measure to ensure that wind development in the state would not interfere with flight training at N.C. military bases. Although the state already has procedures in place to consider any military objections to wind projects – and the military has approved of plans for wind projects in the state – those . . .
North Carolina passed a clean-energy bill Thursday that could spur a wave of new solar projects in the country’s second-biggest solar state – but at the expense of wind. House Bill 589, which Governor Roy Cooper signed Thursday, places a moratorium on new wind development through December 2018. The law creates a competitive bidding process that will bring more than 2.6 gigawatts of new solar over 3 1/2 years, Duke Energy Corp., owner of the state’s biggest utility, said. The legislation . . .
Huge international renewable energy developers don’t care a whit about destroying thousands of acres of farmland in rural North Carolina. Rural areas are often the target of environmental big bullies because they don’t have the resources or press coverage to resist the invasion. Iberdrola of Spain built a wind farm near Elizabeth City with 104 wind turbines on 2,513 acres. Invenergy of Spain wants a 600-acre solar farm of 288,120 panels in rural Beaufort County. These companies only care about . . .
A fragile truce aimed at overhauling North Carolina’s solar market, America’s second-largest, is now in jeopardy thanks to a dispute over wind. Lawmakers in Raleigh inserted an 18-month moratorium on new wind development into an energy bill passed before the close of the legislative session last week. The moratorium was included at the behest of Senate Republicans worried about the towering turbines’ impact on North Carolina’s military installations. The move has thrown the bill’s future into doubt. Gov. Roy Cooper . . .
Two proposed wind farms will pull out of eastern North Carolina if an 18-month moratorium on wind farm permits becomes state law, company officials say. Both projects had been expected to apply for state permits as early as this year and potentially could have been generating electricity by 2019. But the moratorium means no wind farm could receive a state permit before Dec. 31, 2018. The moratorium was inserted last week into an unrelated energy bill, House Bill 589, and . . .
Months after reaffirming its commitment in eastern North Carolina, Virginia’s Apex Clean Energy is preparing for the ramifications of a wind moratorium in North Carolina. Kevin Chandler, spokesman for Apex Clean Energy, which is planning a 105-turbine project in North Carolina, confirms the firm may be suspending its investment plans. “An 18-month delay coupled with the near-certainty of additional red tape means we will almost certainly have to suspend Timbermill Wind if House Bill 589 becomes law,” Chandler said in . . .
The state Senate again has passed a moratorium on wind energy in North Carolina, and it’s again causing blow-back in the House. The Senate on Wednesday passed an amended version of House Bill 589, an energy reform bill that’s a high priority for Republican leadership, that would forbid permits for wind projects through Dec. 31, 2020. This latest attempt at passing the moratorium follows standalone legislation, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown, R-Onslow, that stalled out in the House . . .