Corps of Engineers calls for study of Duke plan for offshore N.C. wind

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants Duke Energy to conduct an environmental impact study of its offshore wind power project in Pamlico Sound.

Duke plans to build up to three wind turbines within a 3-mile-square area 7.3 miles west of Avon and 9.1 miles of Frisco. Both communities are on the Outer Banks’ Hatteras Island. Electrical cable buried under the sound will connect the turbines to the island. The project, announced last September, is a test by Duke and UNC Chapel Hill of commercial-scale wind energy along the N.C. coast.

While the coast has strong, plentiful winds, ecological risks, engineering obstacles and ways to reduce the negative impacts of wind farms need to be evaluated. Among concerns are that Outer Banks residents and tourists will object to the sight of towering turbines. At their position in eastern Pamlico Sound, the tops of Duke’s turbines would be visible on the horizon.

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