Offshore Wind's Local Economic Impact Questionable, say Oak Island Mayoral Candidates
While still years away, offshore wind farms are significantly closer to becoming reality off the North Carolina coast. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management recently completed its environmental assessment and will hold a Task Force meeting October 7th in Wilmington to consider next steps. Two of the areas slated for wind are near the southeastern North Carolina coast.
During a recent CoastLine Candidate Forum for Oak Island Mayor, here's what the four competitors had to say about the potential impact on their small coastal community.
Richard D’Anjolell says he’d encourage wind farms over drilling for oil but wants to be sure Oak Island gets it share of revenue.
"Same thing with the jobs – we want to make sure that whatever jobs come in from those resources are something that will come to Oak Island and not just to the inner areas of Brunswick County."
Bill Moyer isn’t convinced offshore wind farms would have much positive economic impact on Oak Island.
"I would be anxious to see how close to coast these wind farms would be. I’m all for environmentally friendly power sources; I’m just not sure that this is the most efficient way of doing it, and I’m not sure our tourists would like to see these big wind things if they’re that close to the shore."
Darrell Vickers says he’s only interested in what he calls the technology of the future. To him, that’s hydroelectricity.
"There’s plenty of energy offshore, but it’s not in oil. It’s not in natural gas. And it’s not in the wind. It’s in the ocean current. The Gulf Stream flows up our coast at 4-6 nautical miles per hour and there is 800 times more energy in that current than there is in the same cross-section of a wind turbine."
The visibility of wind turbines wouldn’t hurt tourism according to Cin Brochure; in fact, she says, passing freighters are often a source of entertainment for observers.
"The financial -- I’m not sure there’s any money. I know the offshore drilling – I could never resolve it in my mind that we would gain anything financially from it – plus, I was so totally against it anyway."
The public meeting to discuss next steps on offshore wind is October 7th at the Coastline Conference Center on Nutt Street in downtown Wilmington.
To hear the candidates for Oak Island Mayor on other issues, follow this link:
Tune in Wednesday, September 30th at noon for the CoastLine Candidate Forum featuring the Oak Island Town Council race.