NORTH CAROLINA Model Wind Ordinance

The Model Wind Ordinance for Wind Energy Facilities in North Carolina is intended to provide assistance to communities designing a local wind ordinance. The North Carolina Wind Working Group encourages each community to modify the model ordinance to meet their needs.

It is important to note that the setbacks are minimum requirements, designed to protect public safety and mitigate the impacts of noise and shadow flicker. By addressing these concerns through minimum setback requirements, the model wind ordinance omits lot size requirements and height restrictions – which can be found in several North Carolina ordinances.

While North Carolina’s primary wind resources are located in mountain and coastal counties, the model ordinance does not consider or account for regional variations – such as hurricanes. Therefore, the Wind Working Group encourages communities to consider important local factors when crafting a wind ordinance.

Finally, communities should also understand that the adoption of a local wind ordinance will not preclude a wind energy facility from the requirements of

applicable state and federal regulations.

In January 2008, the Coastal Wind Working Group and the Western Wind Working Group merged to form the North Carolina Wind Working Group. The goals of this group are:

  • Develop a clear understanding of existing attitudes on wind development

  • Educate the public and key stakeholders, and address their issues

  • Generate interest leading to responsible wind development.

One of the first tasks of the group was to develop a model wind ordinance to inform communities considering wind energy development. The group has also been conducting public forums in the western and coastal parts of the state to educate the community about wind energy technologies and address their questions. Bob Leker, Renewables Program Manager at the State Energy Office expects the NC Wind Working Group to continue its efforts in educating the public and local governments about wind energy.

Questions about wind energy development or the model wind ordinance can be directed to:

Download the Model Wind Ordinance for Wind Energy Facilities in North Carolina.


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