The developer of the largest wind farm ever proposed in North Carolina says the project has stalled because no utility wants to buy the power the project would produce. Iberdrola Renewables, having put more than three years into a 31-square-mile wind farm near the coast, this week began notifying property owners and public officials in Pasquotank and Perquimans counties that the project is on hold indefinitely. If built, the Desert Wind Energy Project near Elizabeth City would have ranked among the largest wind farms in the country.
Iberdrola has developed more than 40 wind farms in this country, but the Spanish company has been unable to find a buyer for the power output of Desert Wind. The $600 million undertaking was to include 150 turbines, enough to supply power to as many as 70,000 homes....
The Desert Wind project began in early 2009, with millions of dollars invested since then in wind studies, environmental impact statements and engineering analyses of roads, soils and transmission systems. The N.C. Utilities Commission approved the project in May in a proceeding remarkable for the absence of public protests. Iberdrola has signed real-estate agreements with some 40 property owners who would be paid annual fees of $6,000 or more in exchange for hosting turbines standing 500 feet tall at the upper tip of the blade.