North Carolina's coast viewed as wind energy source

The breezes blowing across the shallow waters of the mid–Atlantic coast, including North Carolina, hold some of the nation's highest potential for harvesting wind energy, a new federal report says.

Wind over waters less than 100 feet deep could supply at least 20 percent of the electricity needs of most coastal states, the Interior Department report says. Erecting wind turbines in shallow water would be cheaper and easier than in deep water.

But allowing North Carolina's first commercial–scale wind turbines won't be a quick or easy decision.

That's a point Gov. Bev Perdue has continued to reinforce. She is slated to speak today at the Charlotte Energy Summit, an invitation–only conference about growing the region's energy industry, sponsored by the Charlotte Chamber, Duke Energy and the Charlotte Regional Partnership.

Many people won't like the look of turbines 300 feet tall, especially along the scenic coast. Birds and bats could strike the spinning blades. Residents will demand noise studies.

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