Outer Banks Brew Station – Wind Spill, No Damage
The wind on the Outer Banks is pretty relentless. A continuous stream of wind flows through the OBX, some days stronger than others, and it shifts directions, but almost always there. The Wright Brothers chose the Outer Banks wisely.
It almost seems like a natural fit for wind power to be generated by the endless breeze. But can a 500 foot wind turbine be considered a “natural fit?”
We’ve mentioned the quest for OBX wind power in previous posts. Up to this point, those wind projects have run aground for various reasons, but a new project is in the works. The Virginia Pilot is reporting that another attempt at an alternative source of energy is making headway.
An experimental wind machine that could reach 500 feet into the Outer Banks skyline will be the subject of a public hearing April 18. Gamesa Energy and Northrop Grumman have partnered for plans to build a one turbine control group near Skyco on Roanoke Island. The turbine is part of a broader plan, aimed to perfect offshore wind-energy generators. Plans are also in the works to build an additional experimental turbine somewhere off the coast.
In a presentation last month, Gamesa representative Todd Hopper said that Skyco is the ideal place for the project’s land-based turbine because of its proximity to water and isolation from development. He asked Dare County commissioners to consider amending zoning laws to accommodate the project.
The news comes as no surprise to Dare County, as there have been wind turbines put in at Jockeys Ridge State Park and the Outer Banks Brewing Station, as well as previous plans to build a wind farm along the Outer Banks by Duke Power last year.
Gamesa intends to sell the electricity generated by the wind turbine to recover costs of the design and building costs. With costs of $20 million, the company aims to install the turbine next year.
What do you think? Are these wind turbines productive “gentle giants” or do they take away the gorgeous OBX views?