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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

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DEQ asks for 24nm offshore wind buffer to protect environment, economy

DEQ’s top energy advisor emphasized North Carolina’s support for a 24 nautical mile buffer for offshore wind at a recent meeting with federal officials from the U.S. Departments of Energy and the Interior. Jenny Kelvington, the Acting Executive Director of DEQ’s newly formed Energy Group, offered North Carolina’s perspective at the 2016 National Offshore Wind Strategy strategy session in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 10.

The federal government has identified three Wind Energy Areas off the coast of North Carolina – Kitty Hawk, Wilmington East, and Wilmington West – that have potential to harness the state’s abundant wind energy resources. Kelvington discussed with federal leaders the need to safeguard the environment and the view from North Carolina’s coastal communities when developing offshore wind. The federal government has proposed a buffer of 10 nautical miles from shore. DEQ believes that a 24 nautical mile buffer would best protect the environment and the state’s vibrant visitor industry.

Offshore wind is part of the DEQ Energy Group’s all-of-the-above strategy to ensure clean, reliable, and affordable energy for all North Carolinians.

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