The 7,000 acre wind farm project that was being planned near Mill Pond in Carteret County has been cancelled by the company hoping to install it, Torch Renewable Energy.
In a statement by Torch Renewable Energy, the main reason the company sited was because of the "unlikely prospect of acquiring a variance from the County’s current Tall Structures Ordinance, we have decided not to move forward with the project.”
The Carteret County Manager, Russell Overman says, it wasn't because the wind turbines were too tall, it was that they wouldn't have been far enough away from non-participating property lines. The county has an ordinance that states that structures like wind turbines need to be six feet away from a non-participating property line for every one foot of height. The turbines were planned to be about 500 feet tall, this would require each to be placed about 3,000 feet away from neighboring property. Overman says because of this, the company would only have been able to install about six turbines, not the original 40 that was planned.
For Newport Town Planner Bob Chambers, the recent activity with Torch has spurred reform to their existing ordinances regarding tall structures. Right now, the town allows structures 500 feet in height with a 2,500 foot distance requirement from neighboring property. Now proposals have been made to change the height restriction to either 550 feet or 200 feet, and to require tall structures to be almost a mile away from non-participating property lines.