wind energy

New Report: North Carolina is Falling Behind in Offshore Wind Race

As states up and down the east coast move forward with plans to develop wind farms off their shores, North Carolina continues to lag behind according to a new report released today by Environment North Carolina. While North Carolina has more offshore wind potential than any other Atlantic state, the state is falling behind in taking advantage of this clean, homegrown energy source.

“North Carolina actually has the potential to power our entire state using offshore wind,” said Graham Givens of Environment North Carolina. “If we were to develop just a fraction of the wind energy resources off North Carolina’s coast, we could easily meet 20% of the state’s energy needs.”

NC poll finds overwhelming support for renewable energy

Apparently the public isn't completely clueless:

A recent statewide public opinion survey conducted by Fallon Research found that 75.7% of Republicans, 89% of Democrats, and 81.6% of Independents (82.6% overall) said state leaders and elected officials in North Carolina should seek more alternative or renewable energy sources in order to provide consumers and businesses with electricity.

That small percentage of people who oppose renewable energy, for whatever misguided reasons, need to understand: this poll isn't a product of confusion. Even those who question the validity of global warming are aware of the pollution burning coal produces, and even the small percentage of those who dismiss that or try to ignore it know it's unwise to be reliant on finite resources when infinite resources are available. If lawmakers try to reverse the progress we've made in this area, the voters will be (understandably) perplexed and upset. And this part was pleasantly surprising:

Another wind energy project for Eastern NC

We could be looking at a bumper crop of wind turbines:

A utility based in Chicago is proposing an 80-megawatt wind farm in eastern North Carolina. The company Invenergy sent an application to state officials last week for a facility with 49 turbines at a site in Beaufort County. Jay Lucas is an engineer with the state Utilities Commission. He says an 80-megawatt farm could power 20,000 homes, depending on wind capacity.

Wind energy could end up being Eastern North Carolina's economic savior, and the NCUC should fast-track these applications as much as humanly possible.

On hole cards, or, "Drill, baby, drill"? Why? Is Canada out of sand?

In America, today, there are three kinds of drivers: those who look at the other gas pumps down at the ol’ gas station and think: “Oh my God, I can’t believe how much that guy’s spending on gas”, those who look at their own pump down at the ol’ gas station and think: “Oh my God, I can’t believe how much I’m spending on gas” – and those who are doing both at the same time.

Battle over national power grid heats up

And a huge amount of potential wind energy hangs in the balance:

The group, the Coalition for Fair Transmission Policy, founded in January, is trying to block the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from approving a series of major transmission paths from wind-rich areas in the middle of the continent to load centers all over and then spreading the cost of the new lines around the whole country.

“It is fundamentally about fairness,’’ said Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, who hosted a panel discussion on Tuesday with Senator Robert Corker, Republican of Tennessee, to denounce such a plan.

Offshore Energy

Today the LA Times reported that Virginia could become the first state on the Eastern Seaboard to open it's coast to offshore drilling. Republican Governor Robert McDonnell and a bipartisan coalition in the state legislature hopes that the Obama administration will permit the sale of drilling leases at the end of the year. Its time to face one fact though, the projected amount of oil off the coast is around 130 million barrels. In the U.S. alone, we consume 20 million barrels each day so if we do the math, the oil off the coast could supply us for only 7 days! That's just not a logical investment.

Progress Energy to Close 3 Coal Powered Plants in Eastern North Carolina

Progress Energy has announced that it plans to close coal fired plants in eastern NC. These plants were built in 1952, 1951, and 1962.

I am glad that they are doing this now and I hope that the cleaner energy produced when they build a newer natural gas fueled plant (with less CO2 emissions) in eastern NC, will help keep wind turbines away from the coast. I wonder how many wind turbines, and what size, operating at 30% capacity factor, would be required to have the same 550 Megawatts generating capacity increase that is planned with this new plant.

I will work on that might be amazed.

This project is pending regulatory permissions. This is a step in the right direction in my opinion.

Will the Air Force save the 1983 Mountain Ridge Protection Act and end Senate Bill SB-1068?

Another blogger posted all the items covered in the wind permitting section of senate bill 1068.

And yes, there are two words "federal permits" but the issue of wind farms, wind turbines and their affect on radar capabilities, flight patterns, military operations, and weather information would not affect us on a federal level, it would affect us on a state level, as well. The aspect of navigation of coastal water is covered.....but airspace is not. The effect on air space is not mentioned. I find that interesting and concerning.

The Air Force is very strict with navigable air space and the federal permits should be pointed out clearly.

I have flown for several years, and I would hate to think I was flying into "wind turbine clutter" and end up in turbulence. I would hate to see a medical flight team diverted from helping a trauma victim because of "weather" when it is wind turbine clutter.

So, could the AIR FORCE save the 1983 NC Mountain Ridge Protection Act?

Nesbitt + Queen = Double Down Dumb

Another post covered the important issue of wind power recently, but now the deal is done. Martin Nesbitt and Joe Sam Queen, two Democratic Senators from the mountains, apparently don't have the sense god gave a box of animal crackers.

At the urging of some mountain senators, the state Senate Finance Committee added the restrictions to a bill moving through the General Assembly that will shape where windmills are allowed to be built statewide. Wind-energy advocates say the change will cripple efforts to harness the power of gusts along peaks.

“It's horrible. They just banned wind,” as a source of energy in the mountains, said Crystal Simmons, a Newland resident and Appalachian State University student who manages a project that has erected a 150-foot windmill on campus.

NC Senate Finance Committee debating ban on Wind Energy TODAY

I've confirmed a small Raleigh N&O note on this link's lower left side

that the NC Senate finance Committee will be debating a ban on mountain located wind energy today at 1pm.

SENATE BILL 1068 which enacts a preemptive BAN on wind energy in the mountains would effectivley shut out all discussion on the subject and 180 our the wrong way to go w/the aggressive programs and federal monies Obama (in addition to 4 related federal agencies-I looked it up) are aiming at states like Ohio (on board to receive $448 MILLION).

Locate your senator here and call them!!

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