Dominion North Carolina Power plans to study the prospect of wind and solar energy on the Outer Banks for small-scale power grids. The utility is launching a three-year research project at its office in Kitty Hawk. The plans include four wind turbines, solar panels and a storage battery that will work to reduce the amount of power the office pulls from the grid. Project manager Sarah Cosby says that network creates a so-called micro-grid that could be useful for small communities during power outages.
Sarah Cosby: "If they had a micro-grid, it would allow them to, perhaps, not have to utilize their diesel generator as much, so during an outage at a university or a military base, if they had wind, solar, maybe a fuel cell and a battery, they could conceivably be completely self-sustaining."
The town of Kitty Hawk would have to amend an ordinance that restricts the height of wind turbines in order for the project to move forward. Cosby says project members are still figuring out a price for the project and how much more it could cost customers in their utility bills.