Is this the year for wind energy to flutter in NC?

January 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News



U.K. WIND FARM

The area off the coast of North Carolina is ready and waiting for the development of wind-energy facilities, says Brian O’Hara, president of the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition.








This year presents another chance for North Carolina to take a leadership role in developing wind energy, an industry Gov. Pat McCrory said  the state has been slow getting into.

The resources are in place for development of energy sources — particularly for wind energy. There are about 4,500 square miles of federal lease blocks (that means 500 lease blocks of nine square miles each) off the coast of North Carolina that are waiting for wind contracts, according to Brian O’Hara, president of the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition. A federal lease block means the area of approved subdivisions of the outer continental shelf within U.S. jurisdiction.

By comparison, Virginia has just 20 lease blocks available.

Several companies — including Nucor Corp. (NYSE:NUE) in Charlotte, which makes plate steel for towers, and Saertex in Huntersville, which makes specialty composite fibers — “already exist in the state despite (wind energy) having no development yet,” says O’Hara.

Midwestern states hold the most wind farms, with leading Texas producing 1,826 megawatts in 2012, according to BreakingEnergy.com, but O’Hara says public support for wind energy in North Carolina hovers around 70 percent in favor.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranked North Carolina No. 24 of the 50 states on its 2013 score card for energy efficiency, and Energy.gov has the state ranked 23rd among for renewable energy, saying 25.7 percent of the state’s energy production is renewable.


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