Berger: Wind farm to continue to operate


N.C. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger answers a question during his visit to the Elizabeth City State University campus, Thursday. Berger said during an interview that the Amazon Wind Farm US East will continue to operate.


By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Thursday, February 16, 2017

After signing a letter calling for the shutdown of the Amazon Wind Farm US East, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said Thursday he expects the farm to continue operations.

“I don’t anticipate that the farm will not continue to operate,” Berger, R-Rockingham, said in a brief interview with The Daily Advance on Thursday while touring Elizabeth City State University.

Last month, Berger and nine other lawmakers, including state Sen. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort, stirred controversy by calling for the wind farm, which only recently became operational, to be shut down over concerns it would interfere with a Naval radar facility in Chesapeake, compromising the military’s long-range surveillance.

The letter caused a backlash with Pasquotank County and Elizabeth City officials, who said they were blindsided by the letter and opposed the loss of a major investment in the region.

It’s unclear the letter is going anywhere with federal officials. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has not responded to numerous inquiries from The Daily Advance about whether the letter will be acted upon.

Berger, as well as Cook, reiterated Thursday their concerns were, and remain, that the wind farm might interfere with military operations and training. The Navy’s position remains that the wind farm may continue to operate.

Asked if he trusted the military would say something if the wind farm harmed its operations, Cook said simply Thursday, “I hope so.”