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Coastal Controversy: Nationwide Push for Wind Farms Sparks Outrage in Virginia Beach

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia – Offshore wind farms planned for coastlines nationwide show there could be unintended consequences in the push for clean energy. 

The nation's largest wind farm is under construction about 27 miles off the Atlantic coast in Virginia Beach. Pretty soon the coastal view will be overtaken by giant silhouettes of nearly 200 turbines, something neighbors say Dominion Energy allegedly lied to them about when first pitching the project. 

Several neighbors living close to work along the coastline say they had no idea they would suffer from wind farm construction. At the local community meeting hosted by Dominion amid a rising tide of complaints, Susanna H. Miller expressed her discontent loudly, stating, "They lied, that's all there is to it – they lied."

"This is torture to me. I have been tortured nonstop for three weeks or more – and I am a human tuning fork," Susanna went on to say.

John Knight lives nearby and says the noise is making him crazy. The loud vibrations from the construction are blamed for cracks in home foundations. 

"We've experienced our house shaking, loud noises, woken up at night," said Knight. 

Dominion addressed these frustrations at a community meeting for neighbors living in the Croatan neighborhood where homes are close to the work site. However, several residents left fuming instead of feeling heard. 

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"There are going to be frustrations," said Jeremy Slayton with Dominion Energy. "That's why we want to have meetings like this for the community to come out and share those frustrations so we can find ways to move forward." 

Construction will continue for several months leading up to the assembly of some 200 turbines in the Atlantic. The total cost is $9.8 billion for a 2.6-gigawatt wind farm. Other spokesmen for Dominion said it will likely increase the payment for electricity, long-term. 

This is one of six sites approved by the Biden administration. The U.S. plans to build more than 190 wind farms nationwide across each major coastline, including some turbines planned for the Great Lakes. From Maine to South Carolina, the Energy Department has marked off vast areas of open ocean for future offshore wind developments. 

"To top that, we're really concerned about tourism and property values," said Joe Bourne with Protect Sandbridge Beach Coalition. 

Joe Bourne lives in the Sandbridge Beach area and keeps a close eye on this Dominion Project. He wants neighbors to know about a similar project proposed for his neighborhood that would stretch all the way to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. 

"Even when you take these offshore 27 miles, they are visible," said Bourne. "On a clear day, you can see them, you can see them spinning." 

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As the industry booms, it faces significant legal challenges. 

They've claimed that no whales are being killed by the activity so far, even though a record number of whales are washing up on shore in this area. 

Environmentalist H. Sterling Burnett is with the Heartland Institute, an organization suing federal agencies behind the VA offshore wind project for threatening endangered whales. 

"They want to plant 176 turbines sunk into the earth, right in their migration route," said Burnett. 

This comes as the East Coast sees a spike in suspicious whale deaths, at least a dozen whales have died on Atlantic Coast beaches since November. Dominion Energy maintains its project is not responsible. 

"I think now is the time to pause, let's look at the impact of this one project before we make any decision on any future projects," Bourne said. 

In Florida, lawmakers passed a bill that bans all future wind turbines offshore and on land within a mile of the coast. The state Senate, which sponsored the bill, says it aims to protect wildlife and prevent noise. This comes as Virginia Beach residents express concerns their voices weren't heard during the approval process for the nation's largest wind farm project. 

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About The Author


Brody Carter has been reporting and anchoring at CBN since 2021. In his time at CBN, he has found his stride in national news, including political and foreign affairs, extreme weather, and in-depth faith-based reporting. Brody frequently covers news for The 700 Club, Faith Nation, Newswatch, and Christian World News. Brody is passionate about news and displays standout dedication and work ethic in the field. Since starting at CBN, Brody has not only grown as a journalist but also as a person of faith thanks to close family, friends, co-workers, and the church body in Virginia Beach. He