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Wind farm company to install weather buoy off Outer Banks as project moves forward

The Virginian Pilot | Jeff Hampton | March 24, 2020

Avangrid Renewables plans to conduct surveys of the ocean bottom this summer and fall in preparation to building a wind farm offshore from Corolla.

The Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind project plans to install its first visible piece of equipment off the Outer Banks — a buoy that can measure the winds nearly 800 feet above the surface.

The equipment will include a surface buoy and a bottom platform working together that will measure weather patterns, currents and wave action, among other things, said Craig Poff, director of development for the project. A state-of-the-art laser radar system will gauge wind speeds at 240 meters above the surface.

It will be bright yellow and kind of look like a boat, he said.

Plans are to set the buoy as early as April 1 at a location about 25 miles offshore. The coordinates would be 36.24.6805 north and 75.13.9484 west, which is about 42.8 nautical miles southeast of Rudee Inlet sea buoys and about 38.6 nautical miles northeast of Oregon Inlet sea buoys, according to a news release.

Fishers and mariners should enter the location in chart plotters, the release said.

Avangrid Renewables plans to build the wind farm in the Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind Lease Area, roughly 25 miles offshore from Corolla covering 122,405 acres and stretching about 30 miles.

The project is expected to be operating by 2026, Poff said.

Avangrid was awarded the offshore lease in 2017 by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Jeff Hampton, 252-491-5272,

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