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The U.S. Department of Energy and the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center are excited to announce that a new, modernized DSIRE is under construction. The new version of DSIRE will offer significant improvements over the current version, including expanded data accessibility and an array of new tools for site users. The new DSIRE site will be available in December 2014. Staff are currently working hard on the new version of DSIRE but are also maintaining the content of the current version of DSIRE. Thank you for your continued support and patience during this transition. We hope you are as excited for December as we are! The U.S. Department of Energy and the North Carolina Solar Center are excited to announce that a new, modernized DSIRE is under construction. The new version of DSIRE will offer significant improvements over the current version, including expanded data accessibility and an array of new tools for site users. The new DSIRE site will be available in the summer of 2014. Staff are currently working hard on the new DSIRE and are unfortunately only able to make minimal updates to the DSIRE website at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for using DSIRE.

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North Carolina

Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

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Watauga County - Wind Energy System Ordinance   

Last DSIRE Review: 09/28/2012
Program Overview:
State: North Carolina
Incentive Type: Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Wind
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, Utility, Tribal Government, Agricultural, Institutional
Web Site: http://www.wataugacounty.org
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
Watauga County Ordinance
8/7/2006
8/7/2006
Summary:

In 2006, Watauga County adopted a wind ordinance to regulate the use of wind-energy systems in the county and to describe the conditions by which a permit for installing such a system may be obtained. This policy was adopted in the context of an on-going debate over the legal interpretation of the 1983 Ridge Protection Act.

For the purposes of this ordinance, wind-energy systems are classified as “large” if they consist of one or more turbines with a rated generating capacity of more than 20 kilowatts (kW) and “small” if a project consists of a single turbine rated at less than 20 kW.* A site permit is required to establish, place, operate, maintain, expand or enlarge a wind-energy system.

Height Requirements: The total height of a wind turbine is determined by the height above grade to the tip of the turbine blade as it reaches its highest point of rotation. The height limit for small wind turbines is 135 feet. Large systems may be taller if approved by the county planning board.

Visual Appearance: Towers and rotor blades must maintain a galvanized finish or be painted so as to conform to their surroundings and reduce visual obtrusiveness. Wind-energy systems must also remain free from signage, advertising, flags, streamers, and other decorative items.

Setbacks: The ordinance requires that the base of the wind turbine must not be closer to surrounding property lines than its height unless a professional engineer (registered in North Carolina) certifies that the fall zone of the turbine will be within the proposed setback area. Wind-energy systems must also be set back from inhabited structures on adjacent property at least 1.5 times the height of the turbine.

Building Permit Requirements: A building permit shall be required and building permit applications for small wind energy systems shall be accompanied by standard drawings of the wind turbine structure, including the tower, base, and footings. An engineering analysis of the tower, certified by a licensed professional engineer. This includes standards for ice/wind loading. This analysis may be supplied by the manufacturer. Wet stamps shall not be required.

Impact Analysis, Mitigation, and Planning: Applications for site permits for large wind-energy projects must include the following: building and electrical permits; site and design information; construction, operation, maintenance and insurance information; decommissioning information; a comprehensive impact analysis and all other relevant permits and approvals. All applicants must also undergo a public hearing so that the Watauga County planning board may receive comments and other information pertinent to the application.

* Multiple small wind-energy systems located on farms, as defined in the Watauga County High Impact Land Use Ordinance, are considered to be separate small wind-energy systems even if the aggregate rated capacity exceeds 20 kW, provided that the primary intent is to generate power to reduce on-site consumption.


 
Contact:
  Brent Graybeal
Planning and Inspections
331 Queen Street, Room 104
Boone, NC 28607
Phone: (828) 265-8043
Fax: (828) 265-8080
E-Mail: brent.graybeal@ncmail.net
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2013 - 2014 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.