Winds blowing off the coast

Yesterday, a report in the News & Observer detailed the Obama Administration's recent move to open tracts on the Outer Continental Shelf to wind production (further coverage with US scope - Bloomberg, AP). From the N & O report:

Eventually, the regulations could help shape energy production in North Carolina, where the Outer Banks jut sharply into the Atlantic. The area has some of the strongest and steadiest winds on the East Coast, according to a report from the U.S. Department of the Interior.

"We realize there's a tremendous opportunity offshore," said Bob Leker, a program manager with the State Energy Office in Raleigh. "I think it's a good idea. It's a resource the country as a whole has a lot of."

In many ways the state is ahead of the federal government. Wednesday's regulations apply to federal waters, which are at least three miles offshore. Those waters are deeper, and the potential for high waves and hurricanes makes them a more treacherous location for wind farms than the state's expansive system of shallow sounds and inlets.
As usual, the comments range from hysterically opposed to measured and optimistic, but the article is nothing but clear that generating wind power off the NC coast is feasible. The move by this Administration opens the door to offshore clean energy production in North Carolina; with the General Assembly considering how to permit wind turbines, the move was much needed.

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