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In Case You Missed It: News of Interest from Around North Carolina (Week of March 10, 2017)

N.C. ranks 4th in Governor's Cup; Durham-Chapel Hill is 5th among metros its size—Triangle Business Journal

“North Carolina ranked fourth in Site Selection magazine’s Governor’s Cup competition for the states with the most new and expanded facilities per capita in 2016 while Durham-Chapel Hill ranked fifth among top 10 metros with populations ranging between 200,000 and 1 million. Texas came in first place with 642 projects last year, followed by Ohio with 515 and Illinois with 434. According to Site Selection magazine, North Carolina took fourth place with 289 announced projects while Georgia was fifth with 271 projects. It was the third consecutive year that North Carolina took fourth place. Durham-Chapel Hill, which is in the tier 2 category, had 36 new and expanded facilities last year. Meanwhile, Greensboro-High Point ranked sixth among tier 2 category metros with 33 new and expanded facilities. The city of Burlington, which had six new and expanded facility projects last year, was listed among the top 10 metros with populations of less than 200,000.”

Trump cuts could end a program that researches NC coast – News and Observer

“A national coastal research program that has operated in North Carolina for close to five decades would be eliminated under budget cuts sought by the Trump administration, according to a report in The Washington Post. The Sea Grant program in this state is run through N.C. State University, one of 33 such university programs around the country. The North Carolina program conducts marine, coastal and watershed scientific research, education and outreach for scientists, educators, local officials, government agencies and businesses, according to its website. Elimination of Sea Grant, with a national budget of $73 million, would be part of a potential 17 percent cut to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. N.C. Sea Grant received about $1.7 million in federal money last year, $1 million in state matching funds and about $774,000 in funding from other sources. The state program reports $3.2 million in economic impact, citing effects of its work such as lower flood-insurance premiums.”

Buncombe sun for sale: Solar farm in the works—Asheville Citizen-Times

“A heap of rotting trash could become the site of one of the most innovative local government projects in North Carolina. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners agreed Tuesday to bring a solar farm to the site of a former county landfill in Woodfin. The cost to taxpayers would be low to nonexistent if all goes according to the board's plan. The county wouldn't build the solar farm, but it would work with Duke Energy to demonstrate the site's features and woo a private company to be a tenant there. The landfill site is special because it's a 25-acre swath of flat land in a mountainous area. Unlike most flat land in this region, the landfill value is low because of the trash beneath. Solar farms, which aren't sensitive to shifting that takes place in landfills, are one of the few suitable uses. Another plus: The land is 1.15 miles from a power station that could regulate the current coming from the panels.”

Picture this: Wind SpeedBusiness North Carolina

“Turbine blades the length of four shipping containers smoothly slice the air nearly 500 feet above this corner of northeastern North Carolina, but the building of the state’s wind industry has been anything but peaceful. Craig Poff, the Philadelphia developer who spent nearly a decade assembling 22,000 acres across Perquimans and Pasquotank counties for the largest wind farm in the Southeast, says it’s unlikely he will be back for a second project. That was before 10 state legislators sent a letter to federal authorities seeking to shut down the site and the region’s congressman, Walter Jones, pushed for a curb on similar developments. Wind power is sweeping the United States — the U.S. Department of Labor predicts that wind-farm technician will be America’s fastest-growing occupation during the next decade — but it’s unclear which way it will blow in North Carolina. As politicians attempt to apply the brakes, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is opening the door for offshore projects. It will auction 191 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean off Kitty Hawk this month. Six prior wind-lease sales in other parts of the country have generated $58 million for more than 1 million acres in federal waters.”
  • 13 March 2017
  • Author: Brett Dyson
  • Number of views: 316
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