Dominion turns on renewable microgrid in Kitty Hawk

By on July 27, 2014

wind

One of the site’s four wind turbines. (Michelle Wagner)

The same wind that will provide energy steadily blew Friday in Kitty Hawk dignitaries and Dominion North Carolina Power officials gathered to dedicate the company’s first renewable power grid.

The Microgrid Research Project at Dominion’s regional office will reduce the amount of power it pulls from the grid and includes four wind turbines able to produce 13 kilowatts and ground-mounted solar panels that can generate 6 kilowatts.

One turbine is 65 feet and the others reach 45 feet into the sky. The project will also have 75 kilowatt-hours of battery storage.

An educational kiosk at the Woods Road office, Kitty Hawk Town Hall and Kitty Hawk Elementary School will allow visitors to monitor the performance of the system and analyze data.

Planning and construction of the project took just over a year and a half and included securing a text amendment to the town’s ordinance to allow for the turbines.

Dare County Board of Commissioners Chairman Warren Judge said during the ceremony that it is fitting the project is taking off in Kitty Hawk

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Local leaders joined the ribbon cutting. (Michelle Wagner)

“It was 115 years ago that a couple of brothers came to the Outer Banks also in search of wind,” he said. “As our country has moved from the industrial age to the technology and computer age, we too need to move from the fossil fuel age to the age of renewable energy.”

“We hope that the public will become a part of this, come visit and enjoy seeing these wind turbines turn,” said Mary Doswell, Dominion’s senior vice president for alternative energy.

Doswell said she envisions renewable power grids such as this to be just one of the new technological advances on the horizon. Fuels cells that run off natural gas and more efficient motors are not far behind, she said.

Judge was accompanied by more than 20 dignitaries for the official ribbon-cutting that took place in just the right conditions for the grid to start generating renewable energy.

While the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow, they were on Friday.

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