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Letter to the Editor: More questions than answers regarding offshore wind projects

4 November 2020

Dear Sir;

From time to time the newspaper provides a write up with the most recent developments and status of North Carolina’s Advance Offshore Wind Projects. The most recent was an article in the Sunday edition (1 November 2020). Unfortunately for the affected consumers, these updates are too infrequent for the the magnitude, scale, and costs of the undertaking and often times leaves the consumer with more questions than are answered.

I have a lot of skepticism surrounding the figures that are being provided to your reporters. Having worked in a number of startup complex engineering projects for the Federal Government that also made use of prototypes and test models, I really have strong reservations about the numbers being provided by US Department of Energy. DOE positions that this project in particular will support up to 86,000 jobs, $57 billion in investments and provide $25 billion in economic output by 2030 . . . all of that in less than 10 years. That is hard buy-in for even the casual reader. I have wonderment regarding: What are these jobs, specifically?; When do such jobs start in a window that is less than 9 years?; What is the source specifically of the $57 Billion investment?; Has that source been identified and approved (in less than 9 years) by the states’ respective congressional bodies?; By year, what specifically is the economic output and how was this determined?; Specifically, which state governmental and economic bodies have reviewed the figures stated and promoted by DOE?; Which bodies (agencies, experts, etc.) developed the electric and cost savings to customers?; Where are the supporting figures maintained who is accounting for these figures, and how and where can such figures be reviewed?

When will the public be privy to the exact governors’ appointees to the executive group of Smart-Power Leadership Team? How can we, the consumer, be assured that there is enough balance within this team so that the public’s interests are being looked at on balance? Will the quarterly meeting results be: well documented, supported by factual numbers that can be drilled down by disinterested experts? ($57 Billion and $25 Billion figures need to be investigated and accounted).

Respectfully,

Susan Vazquez

Manteo

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