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Realtors Participate in N.C. Wind Energy Farms Workshop

WILMINGTON, N.C. (February 12, 2015) – “This process has taken a long time to get to this point,” said William Waskes, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). The federal group held a public workshop last night at the Coastline Conference Center in downtown Wilmington to receive public comments about the development of wind energy farms off the coast of North Carolina. “Three areas of interest include two zones ten miles off the coast of Wilmington, and one zone about 30 miles off the coast of Kitty Hawk,” said Brian Krevor of BOEM. “Once the public workshops and environmental assessments have been completed, leasing will begin for the proposed 307,590 acres.”

Shuttleworth Wind Energy Workshop Feb 2015About 100 members of the public were present, including the Mayor of Carolina Shores, Walter Goodenough, Carolina Beach Councilman/Realtor® Steve Shuttleworth, and Shane Johnson, WRAR Governmental Affairs. “Wind energy is the way to go as it avoids the problems that come from offshore drilling, and because the zones are a minimum of 10 miles off the coast, the visual impact will be minimal,” said Goodenough, who has been monitoring the program since it began in 2010. Goodenough added, “Plus, regionally we’ll most likely have access to cheaper electricity.” 

It is estimated that if things progress as anticipated, it would be 6-10 years before the first structures are built. “Once the leasing phase has ended, then we’ll need to progress through site assessment with environmental and technical reviews before we reach construction and operations,” said Krevor. Unfortunately, because the sites are more than six miles offshore, no profit sharing will take place; thus, North Carolina will not receive any direct financial fees from resulting energy generation. “We do plan to keep in place, a citizens task force appointed by the Governor so that North Carolinians have a voice in the process, even after operations begin.”

The final public workshop will be held in Carolina Shores, NC on February 12. Public comments will be received by BOEM until February 23, 2015 and may be sent to: Office of Renewable Energy Programs, BOEM, 381 Eldon Street, HM 1328, Herndon, VA, 20170. For more information about BOEM’s efforts in North Carolina, go to: http://www.boem.gov/State-Activities-North-Carolina/