While anti-wind zealots in the North Carolina General Assembly fight to stall coastal wind development here, Virginia is moving ahead with an offshore wind energy project that could pave the way for major new wind power there by late next year.
The state’s main power company, Dominion Energy, has begun erecting two wind turbines 27 miles offshore which should begin providing power in 2020. The company has already leased a section of Atlantic coastal shelf large enough for its plans to generate up to 2,000 megawatts from multiple turbines harnessing wind power, enough to power a half-million homes.
Unlike North Carolina’s government, Virginia’s has provided Dominion incentives to pursue the wind project. Despite the rhetoric from North Carolina lawmakers, the massive naval bases in the Norfolk area face no problem with wind energy development in that state. Virginia policymakers also expect this project to give the state a leg up on North Carolina and other competitor states for development of a new industrial supply chain for offshore wind projects.
Our state legislators here would do well to observe and learn from the Virginia example — before the North Carolina economy loses out on the jobs clean wind energy development creates.
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