Wind energy debate blows into Wilmington

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Submitted: Thu, 01/10/2013 - 3:47am
Updated: Thu, 01/10/2013 - 1:17pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management took public reaction to offshore wind energy coming to our area in a meeting tonight in Wilmington.

There was a packed room of people talking turbines. While some supported the idea, others were not fans.

Two of the three potential sites the bureau has identified on the North Carolina coast are in our area. One seven miles and one 13 miles south of Wilmington.

The economic impact of wind energy was a major topic at the meeting.

“We are currently subsidizing the ones that are running in the Midwest and so forth with federal government money. And I think these areas and operations should be able to stand on their own,” said Michael Stuvall, who opposes the proposal.

“Anything new is going to be more expensive. The American Wind Energy Association, for instance on land-based wind, is looking at it being able to function without subsidies within the next 10 years,” said Mac Montgomery, who supports the proposal.

But the more basic question seems to be, “Do area beach residents want to look out and see rolling windmills on our shores?”

“I don’t want to have to look at wind turbines when i walk out on my front porch in the morning,” said Stuvall.

“What’s happened in some communities in Europe where windmills are; they have become a tourist attraction,” said Montgomery.

Either way, officials say any decisions are several years off, so only time will tell if the debate is here to stay or will just blow over.

If you are still undecided, you can attend a visualization open house tomorrow night at 6 p.m. at the Wilmington Riverside Hilton.


  • Pharaoh says:

    Oh yeah! Lets keep using fossil fuels, which in turn adds to the growing global warming problem, which in turn adds to the rise in sea levels which in turn will see Mr Stuvalls home underwater. Now, that would be a view!

    Many who complain (whine) about ‘their’ view make it sound like a wind turbine farm would obstruct their enitre view almost as if it was sitting on the beach directly in front of their homes. At 7 miles away, they would be barely visible, only the tops at best and low on the horizon and at 13 miles they probably couldn’t be seen at all since the horizon is only about 5-6 miles away.

  • Chris Carnevale says:

    Thank you for the coverage of this event. It was a great meeting and BOEM, NC Commerce, as well as the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition gave great presentations.

    However this article does not accurately convey the public sentiment displayed at the meeting. Indeed the room was packed and was almost standing room only, yet the public comments were unanimously in favor of bringing wind energy off Wilmington’s coast and bringing in the jobs and responsible energy development.

    And indeed the economic impact of wind energy was a major topic last night, but what is not reflected in this article is how much of the conversation focused on the positive economic impacts like jobs in NC manufacturing, transportation, port activity, engineering, and construction. There are already more than a thousand NC workers in the wind industry and offshore wind could bring thousands more.

    Commenter after commenter after commenter said “bring wind energy here! Bring the jobs here!”

    Additional comments are being taken by BOEM until January 28.

  • ChefnSurf says:

    We all know how expensive beach property is. I can understand why Mr. Stuvall and others like him want to keep their view of the horizon unimpeded. They think they’ve paid a lot of money for that.

    What they’ve forgotton is that the money they paid bought them great access to the beach. It didn’t buy them the ocean, and it most certainly didn’t buy them the horizon. That belongs to all of us collectively. What we decide to do with it is a decision to be made by all of us collectively, not just by some beachfront property owners.

    I feel your pain Mr. Stuvall, but too bad, this isn’t just your call.

  • anne says:

    I can understand some of the concerns, but the needs of the many outweigh the wants of a few. Yes – he has his great ocean view and doesn’t want to look at the turbines, but sir – you and many like you took our ocean view and even our access to the ocean when you built your houses. You may own the land and your house (which you really don’t – because as long as we have to pay taxes on our property – we don’t own it) but you don’t own the ocean or the view.

  • Spanky says:

    I certainly would rather have wind turbines off of our coast than oil rigs.

  • Ron says:

    Wind Turbines off shore or on the coast line waste of money!The Ocean salt will corrode them also they will kill alot of birds.Waste of tax money for the ones who wants this you use your money and go at it.

  • WIND POWER says:

    Jusr because wind power is being explorered along the coast DOESN’T MEAN IT WILL HAPPEN. The air currents have to be stedy to a degree. I have a relative who works for a wind turbine company and it was mentioned our coast DOES NOT have adequate air flow! In other words- don’t support something that IS NOT going to happen.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    poll is any indication, it appears there is an overwhelming majority in favor of the idea.

  • offshorewindfornc says:

    I attended the meeting last night and the gentlemen in the interview was the ONLY vocal opposition in a crowd over of 60 people. There is still a debate to be had, but it was disingenuous to say “others” were not fans when there was actually only one person.

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