Raleigh, N.C. – Citizens will be able to find out what the development of offshore wind energy might look like from the North Carolina coast at two federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management meetings next week. The results of a visualization study, conducted to accurately show how wind turbines could be viewed from the shore during various weather conditions and times of day, will be on display. In addition to being able to view the simulations, the public will also be able to offer comments.
The sessions will be held on:
Monday, Aug. 12 (5 p.m. – 8 p.m.)
Wingate by Wyndham Southport
1511 North Howe St.
Southport, N.C. 28461
Wednesday, Aug. 14 (5 p.m. – 8 p.m.)
South Brunswick Islands Center
9400 Ocean Highway 17 W
Carolina Shores, N.C. 28467
The N.C. Solar Center and the N.C. Energy Office will represent the state at these meetings and be available to answer questions regarding the process for identifying areas for offshore wind development in the state. The planning process is designed to identify areas for commercial offshore wind development with the least environment and use conflicts, while also protecting sensitive habitats and resources. In addition, the process seeks to minimize space use conflicts with activities such as military operations, shipping and fishing.
In December 2012, BOEM announced potential wind leasing areas offshore from North Carolina: one area six miles off Kitty Hawk near the Virginia border and two other areas located seven and 13 miles off Southern Wilmington near the South Carolina border (see map here). The areas were identified over the last few years through the work of the BOEM N. C. Task Force, comprised of federal, state and local officials along with community and business leaders from the state’s coastal counties and towns. The areas continue to be refined based on responses received during the comment period as well as results of ongoing BOEM working groups and outreach meetings.
“North Carolina is the second state to identify potential offshore wind leasing areas in the Southeast – a region poised to play a significant role in the U.S. offshore wind industry, with over 60 percent of the east coast’s shallow water resource,” said Brian O’Hara, President of the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition.
The visual simulation study covers 18 sites along the coast with hypothetical views of a 200 turbine offshore wind project at 10, 15 and 20 nautical miles. A critical piece of this study is the meteorological report, which found that daytime visibility to 10 nautical miles occurs at least 50 percent of the day on 127 days per year, including only 25 days during the summer.
“It is important to reference the site specific data from the meteorological report when viewing the visualizations and assessing the visual impact of potential projects,” said Jen Banks, Wind Energy Project Coordinator at the Solar Center.
About the NC Solar Center
The North Carolina Solar Center, as part of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University advances a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices, and policies. It serves as a resource for innovative, green energy technologies through technology demonstration, technical assistance, outreach and training. For more information about the N.C. Solar Center visit: http://www.ncsc.ncsu.edu. Twitter: @NCSolarCenter
About the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition
The Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition works to advance the coastal and offshore wind industry in the Southeast. We focus on supply chain growth, economic development, job growth, and wind energy development in the region with solutions that are beneficial to industry, beneficial to utilities, and result in net economic benefits to citizens and ratepayers. For more information about the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition visit http://www.secoastalwind.org.
Tracey B. Moriarty, BOEM, 703-787-1571, firstname.lastname@example.org
Shannon Helm, N.C. Solar Center, 919-423-8340, email@example.com
Brian O’Hara, Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition, 252-506-9463, firstname.lastname@example.org
Seth Effron, N.C. Energy Office, 919-733-1922, email@example.com