Environment
3:10 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Wind Farm Proposed for Beaufort County

A utility based in Chicago is proposing an 80-megawatt wind farm in eastern North Carolina. The company Invenergy sent an application to state officials last week for a facility with 49 turbines at a site in Beaufort County. Jay Lucas is an engineer with the state Utilities Commission. He says an 80-megawatt farm could power 20,000 homes, depending on wind capacity.

Jay Lucas: "When people ask us how many homes a power plant can provide electricity to, one thing is that capacity factor we call. For instance, a nuclear plant will have a capacity factor of around 90 percent. But since, of course, the wind doesn't blow all the time, we figure 35 percent for this particular wind farm."
Lucas says the local government still has to approve the proposal before it heads to federal regulators for review. The farm would start producing energy at the end of next year.