Model Wind Ordinance (North Carolina)
Last modified on February 12, 2015.
Rules Regulations Policies Program
|Name||Model Wind Ordinance|
|Incentive Type||Solar/Wind Permitting Standards|
|Applicable Sector||Agricultural, Commercial, Fed. Government, Industrial, Institutional, Local Government, Nonprofit, Residential, Schools, State Government, Utility|
|Energy Category||Renewable Energy Incentive Programs|
|Date added to DSIRE||2008-08-28|
|Last DSIRE Review||2012-09-26|
| Last Substantive Modification
to Summary by DSIRE
Note: This model ordinance was designed to provide guidance to local governments that wish to develop their own siting rules for wind turbines. While it was developed as part of a cooperative effort involving several state agencies, the model itself has no legal or regulatory authority.
In July, 2008 the North Carolina Wind Working Group, a coalition of state government, non-profit and wind industry organizations, published a model wind ordinance to provide guidance for communities seeking to promote wind energy. For the purposes of this model, wind-energy systems are classified as "small" if they consist of a single wind turbine with a rated generating capacity of 20 kilowatts (kW) or less, "medium" if they have a total rated capacity of more than 20 kW but not greater than 100 kW and "large" if they have a total rated capacity of more than 100 kW.
Height Requirements: Wind turbine height is the distance measured from grade at the center of the tower to the highest point of the turbine rotor or tip of the turbine blade when it reaches its highest elevation. The setbacks (addressed below) 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.
Setbacks: The setback is calculated by multiplying the required setback number by the wind turbine height and measured from the center of the wind turbine base to the property line, building or road. Setbacks are generally determined by the following table:
|Wind Energy Facility Type||Occupied Buildings on Participating Landowner Property||Occupied Buildings on Non-Participating Landowner Property||Property Lines on Non-Participating Landowner Property||Public Roads|
Setbacks may be waived under certain conditions when all affected parties agree to different terms.
Noise Requirements: Noise and shadow flicker issues for small and medium wind energy facilities are addressed by setbacks, or will be addressed by existing noise ordinances. Audible sound from a large wind energy facility should not exceed fifty-five dBA, as measured at any occupied building of a non-participating landowner. Restrictions may be waived under certain conditions.
Installation and Appearance: The installation and design of the wind energy facility should conform to applicable industry standards and meet all local, state and national codes. The wind energy facility should be a non-obtrusive color such as white, off-white or gray, should not be artificially lighted, except to the extent required by the Federal Aviation Administration and should not display advertising or decorative items.
The permit application should contain information about the size, type and location of the wind energy facility; a detailed site plan; proof of compliance with local, state and federal regulations; an environmental assessment; decommissioning plans and any agreements among participating parties.
|Contact Name||Bob Leker|
|Department||North Carolina Department of Commerce|
|Division||State Energy Office|
|Address||1830 Tillery Place|
|Place||Raleigh, North Carolina|
|Contact Name||Paul Quinlan|
|Department||North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association|
|Address||P.O. Box 6465|
|Place||Raleigh, North Carolina|
|Phone||(919) 832-7601 Ext:105|
Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)
|Authority 1:||Model Wind Ordinance for Wind Energy Facilities in North Carolina|
- Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.