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Golden Wind Farm, NC

STATUS: On hold

TYPE: Wind

OPPOSITION: Neighbors of Bettie, North Carolina; U.S. Marine Corps

PROSPECTS: Unlikely

BACKGROUND:  The Golden Wind Farm is located near Bettie, North Carolina.  The project includes 3 wind turbines and is being developed by two entrepreneurs, Nelson and Dianna Paul.  The turbines will generate 4.5 megawatts of energy.  This is enough energy to provide power to approximately 900 homes.

The project has generated a lot of opposition from local neighbors. These neighbors are concerned with the health and public safety that may result from these windmills near the Down East neighborhood of Bettie, North Carolina.  Possible noise from the turbines was also a big issue for neighbors. Residents are also worried about decreased property values. The other big concern is the fact that the turbines will be visible from a distance as far as Beaufort and Morehead City.  Drivers along scenic highway 70 will also see the turbines. 

In April 2008, the state Utilities Commission approved the project on the condition that the Federal Aviation Administration and Carteret County also approve it. The U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point is located only 18 miles from the proposed project. The Corps is worried that the turbines will affect radar of the base, but it agreed not to oppose the commission's decision if the Federal Aviation Administration was given the final say on the project.

Carteret County imposed a moratorium on wind farms in March 2008, as officials there sought to establish regulations for the structures in coastal areas, which endedright after county commissioners adopted a new draft of the Carteret County Tall Structures Ordinance. According to maps created by the County Planning Department, the new ordinance effectively eliminates the possibility for a utility-scale wind turbine to be located in the area proposed by the developer – but it does not eliminate utility-scale turbines altogether. It is unclear whether the developer will seek to continue with the project.

SOURCES: Carolina Coast Online: http://carolinacoastonline.com/articles/2008/10/22/news-times/news/doc48ff51417ed83644996636.txt;
http://carolinacoastonline.com/articles/2009/01/02/news-times/news/doc495e2dc502bf3641857936.txt;
JD News: http://www.jdnews.com/news/wind-55288-energy-turbines.html;
The Charlotte Observer: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2008/07/25/91573/winds-just-waiting-to-be-ridden.html;
Winston Salem Journal: http://www2.journalnow.com/news/2008/feb/07/neighbors-oppose-couples-plan-for-wind-farm-in-car-ar-96888/;
North American Wind Power: http://www.mikebreslinproductions.com/articlereprints/MBreslin0811.pdf;
National Wind Watch: http://www.wind-watch.org/newsarchive/2008/02/06/coastal-wind-farm-proposed-carteret-project-ruffles-neighbors/

Last updated November 23, 2010