Wind Power’s Record Setting 2016: Will 2017 Be a Repeat?

A new market report by the American Wind Energy Association shows that 2016 was a record breaker for the wind industry. And signs are pointing to an equally aggressive 2017. With a total of 8,203 MW of wind energy capacity commissioned during the year, the majority of projects were completed in the last three months. The United States now contains more than 82,000 megawatts of wind power. That’s enough power for the equivalent of roughly 25 million homes.

First Wind Farm in North Carolina Takes Flight

This wind farm is a monumental step not just for North Carolina, but for the entire Southeast. There is only one other wind farm in the south, Invenergy’s Buffalo Mountain Wind Energy Center in Tennessee. With so few wind farms operating in the region, wind power remains a fairly unfamiliar resource. That makes it easier for anti-wind energy activists to spread misinformation and nonsense. But as people begin to see the positive effects of wind power in their community, it becomes obvious that wind power is a winner. Studies suggests that states with more wind farms boast more public support for wind energy.As more wind farms are developed throughout the South, public acceptance will continue to increase.

Anti clean energy NC legislators try to shut down nearly complete wind farm

The Amazon Wind Farm is the first large-scale wind farm in North Carolina, and is located predominately in farm land. The wind developer, Avagrid, has gone through more than six years of federal, state, and local permitting, review, studies and construction. In an eleventh-hour attempt to kill the project, a small group of anti-wind power North Carolina legislators claim even more red tape is necessary, because they claim a wind farm could interfere with a radar installation in Virginia.

The Carolinas’ First Offshore Wind Lease Sale Scheduled for March 16

The first-ever lease sale for offshore wind off the Carolinas’ coast has been scheduled for March 16, 2017. The lease sale will allow interested development companies to bid on the rights to site assessment activities to gauge the suitability of the area for offshore wind development. The area to be leased is known as the Kitty Hawk leasing area, and lies approximately 24 nautical miles off of North Carolina’s coast (depicted in orange in the map to the right). This announcement follows the identification of the area in August 2014 and the proposal of the sale last August. Development of offshore wind could bring substantial benefits to North Carolina.

Democracy for Sale Screens Across North Carolina

This is a guest blog from Working Films, originally posted here. SACE is excited to partner with Working Films and several allies on the Asheville, NC screening on Jan. 25th. See Facebook event page for more details on this specific screening.

Reducing the Energy Burden in the Southeast: Tackling Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Housing

When temperatures drop in the Southeast – as occurred this past week – many residents turn up their thermostat to stay warm and comfortable. Unfortunately, this is not a luxury that all can afford.  For low-income households, including multifamily households, the proportion of household income spent on energy – their energy burden – can be [...]

Obama Serves Coastal Residents By Denying Seismic Permits

With just two weeks left in office, President Obama added a major piece to his environmental legacy by denying pending permits for seismic exploration for offshore oil and gas in the Atlantic. This announcement was the culmination of a years-long fight by SACE and many coastal residents and businesses to protect the coastal economy and way of life from the impacts of offshore drilling.

Guest Post: Under new governor, what’s next for energy in North Carolina?

Guest Blog: When Democrat Roy Cooper is inaugurated as North Carolina’s next governor on Jan. 1, it will likely mean a major shakeup in agencies that regulate the state’s energy industry. While little is known about who Cooper will choose, we do know that his transition team began work shortly after election day and that they’re accepting applications.

SELC, faith groups keep pushing for solar access in N.C.

Guest post from the Southern Environmental Law Center and posted originally on their blog, here. As the North Carolina Court of Appeals considers a Greensboro church’s use of a popular solar financing method, SELC and faith groups from across the state continue to support the call for greater access to affordable clean energy. This week, SELC weighed [...]

Building a Resilient Energy Plan. Step One: Diverse Community Engagement

This post is the first in a series of blogs that will follow the efforts of Western North Carolina’s Energy Innovation Task Force to reduce peak load in the region through demand response, energy efficiency and clean energy solutions. SACE participates in the Task Force’s Peak Reduction and Programs working groups.

Asheville, North Carolina is no stranger to sustainability. Nestled in the rolling hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the City was one of the first in North Carolina to adopt a Sustainability Management Plan in 2009, which established a municipal carbon reduction goal of 4 percent each year. In 2013, the City implemented an LED streetlight replacement program, replacing over 9,000 aging streetlights with a more efficient LED version, and has experienced a 28.6% reduction in its municipal carbon footprint since 2008.