Wind turbines collect and convert the kinetic energy that wind produces into electricity to help power the grid.
The Energy Office has been instrumental in bringing together key stakeholders to plan for wind energy use in South Carolina. The Energy Office has organized, staffed, or chaired several committees focused on exploring or furthering the development of wind power in the state.
SC Wind Energy Workshop
The SC Energy Office hosted a Wind Energy Workshop in August 2021 in which presenters shared information and recommendations from a prior legislative wind task force and provided updates about wind energy regionally and nationally. This webinar included the latest developments within the Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on offshore wind development.
South Carolina Act 318 of 2008 created a committee to review, study, and make recommendations regarding the feasibility of wind farms in the state. The Committee was staffed by the Energy Office. Topics the Committee focused on included whether South Carolina is a suitable site for wind production on land or in offshore areas, the economic and environmental impact to the state and the cost of wind farm installation and operation in the state. In 2009, the Committee released 18 recommendations to promote opportunities for future wind energy generation. The Committee submitted a report with recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor in 2010.
SC Roadmap to Gigawatt-Scale Coastal Clean Energy Generation: Transmission, Regulation, and Demonstration
In 2008, South Carolina received a US Department of Energy (USDOE) grant called the South Carolina Roadmap to Gigawatt-Scale Coastal Clean Energy Generation: Transmission, Regulation, and Demonstration. The goal of the grant was to identify and overcome existing barriers for coastal clean energy development for wind, wave, and tidal energy projects in South Carolina. Efforts of the grant included an offshore wind transmission study, a wind, wave and current study, and a comprehensive spatial database on existing resources and activities.
The Regulatory Task Force for Coastal Clean Energy was established as an objective of the 2008 South Carolina Roadmap to Gigawatt-Scale Coastal Clean Energy Generation: Transmission, Regulation, and Demonstration grant. The mission of the Regulatory Task Force was to determine what regulatory changes might be necessary to accommodate wind, wave, and tidal energy development in state waters. Regulatory Task Force members included a full spectrum of state and federal regulatory and resource protection agencies, universities, private industry, and utility companies.
Springboarding from the work done in the 2012 Wind Energy Supply Chain Study, a second study was commissioned. The purpose of this project was to assess the economic impact of installation and operation of a demonstration scale offshore wind farm in the State of South Carolina. This work involved two main tasks: an economic and fiscal impact analysis, and an electric rate impact analysis.
Clemson University Dominion Energy Innovation Center
In 2009, the Clemson University Restoration Institute and its partners received a grant from the USDOE to build and operate a large-scale wind turbine drive train testing facility at the institute’s research campus on the former Navy base in Charleston. Subsequently, the public and private partnerships led to the facility dedication in 2013. This facility is capable of full-scale advanced testing of drive train systems, full nacelles, and simulation of blade forces. The facility contains two test beds, a 7.5 megawatt and 15 megawatt, with dynamic non-torque loading. Capable of 50Hz or 60Hz testing, the facility can test for any unit bound for anywhere in the world.
Several local governments have passed ordinances related to wind energy. The North Strand Coastal Wind Team was established as a collaborative partnership with North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, Coastal Carolina University, Savannah River National Lab, Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Authority, and the Energy Office. See below for example ordinances.
US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) South Carolina Task Force
In 2012, BOEM Director chartered the South Carolina Task Force to facilitate coordination and consultation on commercial leasing proposals on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) offshore of South Carolina as stipulated in EPAct 2005. To the extent practicable, the BOEM South Carolina Task Force works to ensure the most efficient, effective, and coordinated review within established procedures of proposed projects.