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Avangrid_Wind_FarmHarry says YES to Clean Energy. Electricity produced at this 208 MW NC wind farm is destined for Amazon data centers including one in Northern Virginia.


1st Major Wind Farm in the Southeast is Operating: NC Facility is Generating Power Consumed in Virginia

Posted 5 March 2017 by Carol Brighton

Virginia’s neighbor to the south is a clean energy leader, claiming the number two spot, behind California, for installed solar capacity.  And now North Carolina has realized another renewable milestone as home to the first "major" wind farm in the southeast.

Just inland from the Atlantic and south of the Great Dismal Swamp, a dozen or so miles over the Virginia border, Avangrid Renewable Energy is churning out electricity from the strong and steady winds that flow unencumbered across the flat coastal plain.  104 turbines reaching about 500 feet skyward at the blade tip are distributed upon 22,000 acres spanning numerous low lying Pasquotank and Perquimans County farms.  The facility began full commercial production in early February. The power injected into the local grid is produced for Amazon data centers, including one in Northern Virginia, and compares to the energy needed to supply about 61,000 homes.  While not technically the first wind farm in the southeast, Tennessee touts 29 MW of commercial wind capacity, the Avangrid project is 208 MW and represents the type of mega-scale project we typically hear about cropping up in Texas and the plains states.

The project is generating significant tax revenues, the largest in both counties, and creating jobs. The 18-month construction project infused the local economy with workers supporting local hotels, restaurants and more businesses.  According Cecil Perry, Chairman of the Pasquotank County Board of Commissioners, “almost everyone in the community knows someone who worked on the wind farm, sold or rented something that helped build the wind farm, or owns land where the project was built." With a total local expenditure of $18 million by Avangrid Renewables, more than 30 North Carolina-based companies were involved in the project providing 500 jobs. The build out now complete, a permanent crew of 17 on-site technicians, led by a U.S. Army veteran and North Carolina native, will be responsible for the wind farm’s daily operation. The average annual salary for these full-time jobs is $80,000.


The harvest from this new crop is likewise lucrative for farmers. They are guaranteed a reliable income for the land lease while they continue to undertake more traditional farming practices among the turbines, that are not as dependable due to the vagaries of nature and price fluctuations.  One of the nearly 60 farmers leasing land to the project, Horace Pritchard notes that “we’re just adding another locally-grown crop to our fields, with very little ground taken out of production. Farms have been growing corn, soybeans, and wheat for a long time here, and the wind farm revenue means a lot of families are protected from pricing swings, floods or droughts going forward.”

The turbines are also hugely beneficial to the economically disadvantage rural counties. Annually, landowner payments and taxes will bring more than $1.1 million into the local economy. Over $500,000/year of that will be generated in county taxes that can be used for a variety of purposes like school, health or emergency services.  Another benefit: the company is responsible for improvement and maintenance of 60 miles of roads through and around the project.  Pritchard adds that “the improved roads really help with access, so it’s a great fit here.”

AvangridA sight to behold: Clean Energy Production at the Avangrid Wind Farm, Newland, NC. The farm boasts 104 turbines rated at 2 MW each and produces the equivalent power as that consumed by 61,000 homes annually.


Learn more in this Sierra Club Youtube:



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