With my slight editing, the Carteret News-TImes reports, HERE, that Torch Energy:
… will abandon plans to develop a hybrid wind and solar facility near Mill Pond outside Newport. “In light of the unlikely prospect of acquiring a variance from the county’s current tall structures ordinance, we have decided not to move forward with the project,” Torch Energy’s vice president of development, Rocky Ray, said in a prepared release.
“All I can say is that the current ordinance in place had to have factored into their decision,” said (Carteret County Commission) Chairman Jonathan Robinson of the announcement. “I’m sure that, and the climate, and the controversy that surrounded this proposal led to their decision (to terminate).” Mr. Robinson said he felt the board acted in due diligence imposing the moratorium and would continue to look at the ordinance, despite the project retraction from Torch.
The variances necessary for the project, cited by Torch in the release, are likely alterations to the ordinance’s 3,300-foot setback requirement, said County Manager Russell Overman. The proposed project would require smaller setbacks to the perimeter to facilitate placement of all 40 of the structures, according to information gleaned by county officials. Mr. Overman said the county was given notice of the dropped proposal Friday afternoon.
This most-welcome result is due in substantial measure to the unrelenting efforts of several county residents, most notably John Droz, Jr. of Morehead City, whose expertise as a physicist and environmentalist lent gravitas to his leadership in bringing this to pass. Kudos, John, and many thanks.