Carteret County passed an ordinance to specify the permitting process and establish siting requirements for wind energy systems. There are different rules and a different permitting process depending on the size and location of a system. Small systems up to 25 kilowatts (kW) are considered to be an accessory use and do not require the approval of a Wind Energy Permit Application. Small systems attached to a house can have a maximum height of 60 feet and are not subject to minimum setbacks. Small systems not attached to a house can have a maximum height of 75 feet, but must be set back 1 foot for each foot of height from any property line and any vacant or occupied dwelling unit on the same property.
Larger systems over 25 kW must have a Wind Energy Permit Application approved by the Planning Commission before a building permit can be submitted. The ordinance goes into detail about the information required for the Wind Energy Permit Application. Systems over 25 kW and less than 1,000 kW can have a maximum height of 199 feet, and must be setback at least 1,300 feet from any adjacent property line. Systems 1,000 kW or more can have a height of 550 feet and must be setback at least one mile from any adjacent property line.