NC OKs wind farm near Beaufort Co. wildlife refuge

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina officials are approving a proposed 11,000-acre wind farm in Beaufort County that critics worry could kill migrating birds landing at a nearby wildlife refuge.

The News and Observer of Raleigh reports the state utilities commission said Thursday it had no legal authority to reject the Pantego Wind Energy Facility.

Regulators say the wind farm cannot go ahead without state and federal environmental permits and other strict conditions.

The project proposed by Chicago-based Invenergy would feature nearly 50 turbines, each reaching nearly 500 feet into the air.

Environmentalists who usually support renewable energy projects oppose this one near the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. They fear the migrating birds seeking refuge there could be killed by the giant spinning blades.

Information from: The News & Observer,

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-03-09-12 1126EST

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