RADIO ISLAND, N.C. (WNCT) — The State of North Carolina had budgeted more than $20 million for offshore wind energy. One area that’s being surveyed for possible development is along the Crystal Coast on Radio Island.
According to the Department of Commerce, North Carolina has the greatest potential for offshore wind energy than any other state on the East Coast. However, residents in Carteret County say they are expressing concerns.
The Assistant Secretary of Clean Energy Economic Development, Jennifer Mundt, provided a statement that NC Ports is evaluating Radio Island for a multi-use terminal, adding that it would create a variety of economic development opportunities. However, residents in the area like Barbara Crider have questions. She believes the tourism industry will be impacted if the project moves forward.
“We have people that come here from all over the United States and all over North Carolina to just sit in a chair and stare at our beautiful water on our coastline. I really believe that rentals will go down, I believe that property values will follow,” Crider said.
Crider said if there’s development of offshore wind energy in the area, she will likely sell her property. She also believes other residents will do the same. She also has environmental concerns.
“interrupting the lives of all the sea animals here? In North Carolina, we care about that kind of thing,” Crider said.
The statement provided by the Department of Commerce also highlights North Carolina’s manufacturing presence and highly-skilled workforce. It makes it the perfect place for the growing industry, according to the statement.
The state also added a partnership with federal, state and local stakeholders will be necessary to carry out the project.
The state also said in the release that the $20 million budget is a sign North Carolina is serious about investing in clean energy.