South Carolina’s Wind Energy Potential
South Carolina is ideally positioned to capture a substantial share of the growing wind energy market in the United States. Already home to international wind component manufacturers like General Electric, IMO Group, and Prysmian, South Carolina has the potential to significantly expand this industrial base.
An economic impact study conducted by Clemson University in 2012 estimated that developing a 1,000 megawatt offshore wind project (<1% of SC potential) would result in over 3,800 jobs, $3.6 billion in economic output, and over $600 million in state & local government revenue.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that offshore wind will support 170,000 jobs by 2030 under a “moderate” growth scenario. With skilled manufacturing labor and the lowest estimated construction costs in the nation, South Carolina and the Southeast are well-positioned to attract those jobs if we are prepared for the opportunity.
By adopting policies that eliminate current market barriers and enable prudent clean energy investments, the SC Legislature can generate leverage for projects like the CURI Large Turbine Drive-Train Test Facility in North Charleston and Santee Cooper’s 40MW Palmetto Wind Initiative.
Learn more about South Carolina’s offshore wind potential by clicking here.
While South Carolina’s strongest and largest wind resources lie off our coast, technological advances in the turbine industry may soon make development of the state’s land-based wind resources cost-effective. Taller installations tap into stronger winds, and more advanced turbines generate electricity more efficiently at lower wind speeds. One important benefit of land-based wind is that landowners, especially farmers, can earn much needed supplemental income by leasing relatively small amounts of land to wind project developers.
Click here to learn more about South Carolina’s onshore wind resource.