Wind energy, a renewable energy source heading to a coast near you?
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Offshore wind has been a staple of energy generation in Northern Europe and Asia for more than a decade, but in the United States, there are only seven offshore wind turbines in operation.
That could be changing soon.
While offshore wind energy is one of the cleanest energy sources, there are still some who oppose it. In Brunswick County, the board of commissioners voted to oppose offshore wind turbines within 24 miles of the coast.
Despite the opposition, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management just opened a lease for the Wilmington East Wind Energy Area which is about 22 miles off the coast of Brunswick County.
Katharine Kollins of Southeast Wind Coalition said one of the biggest concerns is whether these structures are eyesores, especially at the beach. That’s the reason Brunswick County leaders voiced their opposition to the turbines, but it’s a concern that Kollins said is unfounded.
“Wilmington East is going to be around 22 nautical miles off the coast of everywhere in Brunswick County except for bald head island. That is about as invisible as you can get. You would need a pair of binoculars on a very clear day to actually be able to see this project from mainland North Carolina,” she said.
With the federal government opening up the Wilmington East leasing area, that could be changing, although it will still be at least five years before North Carolina starts drawing power from the wind.
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