NC lawmakers ask Trump to shut down nearly-complete wind farm

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$400M wind farm may be shut down weeks before going online thanks to GOP opposition to renewable energy

RALEIGH -- North Carolina lawmakers, including Sen. Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore, are asking the incoming Trump administration to shut down a $400M wind farm in northeastern North Carolina -- even though the facility is nearly complete and just weeks away from going online.

From the Associated Press:

The wind farm is on about 20,000 acres in rural northeastern North Carolina near Elizabeth City, an area with some of the best on-land wind potential on the East Coast.

The legislative opposition comes after all 104 towers have been constructed, about $400 million has been invested and full commercial electricity production is weeks away, said Paul Copleman, a spokesman for Avangrid Renewables, a U.S. subsidiary of Spanish clean-energy giant Iberdrola S.A.

Amazon will buy the electricity output, comparable to the power 60,000 U.S. homes use in a year, to run its Virginia data centers.

A 2014 agreement between Avangrid and the Navy said that although there is potential for conflict between the wind farm and the radar array, the Pentagon also sought to enhance the country’s renewable energy resources. The agreement specified placement of the project’s wind turbines and an understanding that the company would curtail operations “for a national security or defense purpose.”

“If the wind farm threatened any military readiness or capabilities, they wouldn’t have cleared us to build,” Copleman said in an email. “Specifically at this site, we reduced the size of the project, arranged specific turbines differently, ran extensive modeling in conjunction with their scientists, and will continue to share operating data once we reach full commercial operation.”

From the Coastal Review:

One coastal legislator not on the list of signatories was Rep. Bob Steinburg, R-Chowan, whose district includes the wind farm project. Steinburg told CRO Wednesday that he would fight any move to shut down the wind farm unless he saw any solid evidence that claims in the letter were true.

Steinburg said he had raised his objections with House leaders over the letter. The push to shut down the wind farm, he said, is less about the military and more about a long-running fight against renewables in the General Assembly.

“I think there are some who are trying to set up the military as a straw man,” Steinburg said. “I have not talked with anyone from the military that has said they cannot coexist with this particular project.”

Steinburg said the wind farm went through years of review at the state, federal and local levels.

“This has very little to do about the military and everything to do with anti-renewables,” Steinburg said.

Comments

  1. Susan Kennedy's avatar
    Susan Kennedy
    | Permalink
    How utterly shameful. Would any of these legislators act as they do if they did not have health insurance, life insurance, significant income for the rest of their lives, people close to them Wyeth ore exuding conditions, females close to them in need of obgyn care,, people they care about who have disabilities.... What world do they live in? Trying to shut down renewable is just a slower death sentence.
  2. Annette James's avatar
    Annette James
    | Permalink
    The world today has to think and act for the future. It's vital we seek and use renewable energy. It this installation has been research and approved by the military then it doesn't make sense to abandon it. Unless those fighting for its' closure have self interest. As elected officials they need to separate self interest from country's interest.
  3. Beth Bishop's avatar
    Beth Bishop
    | Permalink
    This is about making money, not about taking care of people and or the planet!
  4. J OT's avatar
    J OT
    | Permalink
    Shameful. All they care about is money and power.
  5. Kim Gant's avatar
    Kim Gant
    | Permalink
    You will be fought on this request NCGA. We see you. We will stand up to corruption on your policies and fight your control and money driven forces.
  6. sally samsara's avatar
    sally samsara
    | Permalink
    It's time for Republicans to change their name to Regressives. <br /> They always seem to be on the wrong side of societal progress.
  7. Julie Snyder's avatar
    Julie Snyder
    | Permalink
    It is mind-boggling to see the mounting evidence of the republicans of our State's determination to take NC backwards and into the laughing stock/undesirable category. Shameful and ignorant.
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