Commentary

Hopeful news: NC wind farm taking shape; will generate enough power for more than 60,000 homes

AmazonWindFarm

Image: Amazon.com

Notwithstanding the efforts of North Carolina’s fossil fuel-loving lawmakers to scuttle it and other such promising efforts, a long-planned wind farm is starting to take shape in northeastern North Carolina.

As the Outer Banks Sentinel reports, the facility will ultimately feature 150 giant wind turbines that will reach nearly 500 feet in the air. One-hundred and four turbines in Phase 1 of the project are expected to be in place by November.

“Situated on a 34-square-mile site 10 miles northwest of Elizabeth City, spanning 22,000 acres of farmland owned by more than 60 farmers in Pasquotank and Perquimans Counties, the wind farm is on track to begin producing power by the end of 2016.

Craig Poff, the Business Development Director for Iberdrola, which has partnered with Amazon Web Services to finance the project, called it the ‘largest construction undertaking in eastern North Carolina….’

Extensive testing of each turbine to ‘make sure that everything is operating properly and safely’ will also be completed in November. Each turbine is equipped with sensors measuring wind direction, velocity and force and automatically directing “constant changes” in the blades’ orientation, pitch and yaw to capture maximum energy output.

By the time the project’s second phase is complete, with a less definite timeline, there will be 150 wind turbines in place, generating 300 megawatts of electricity — enough to power more than 61,000 homes — and providing millions of dollars in tax and landowner revenue for decades to come, according to company spokesmen.”

This is, in other words, really encouraging news — both from an environmental and economic development perspective. This is not to say that wind farms are perfect or that there won’t be some negative impacts, but they clearly pale in comparison to the planet-threatening impacts of ever-expanding fossil fuel use. Congratulations to all who are part of making this project happen

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