A wind farm off South Carolina's coast could generate thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in wages and state and local government revenues, finds a new Clemson University study.
The report, prepared for the South Carolina Energy Office, shows that a 1 GW offshore wind farm constructed between 2016 and 2025 would create an average of more than 3,800 jobs per year throughout the 10-year construction period.
It also would generate nearly $2 billion in wages and nearly $620 million in combined state and local government revenue, the study says.
Although South Carolina currently has no utility-scale offshore wind energy generation capacity, the state already plays an important role in the nation's wind energy supply chain, notes Ashlie Lancaster, director of South Carolina Energy Office.
Development of an offshore wind industry would only bolster the state's position nationally and internationally, she adds.
"Not only would an offshore wind industry help diversify South Carolina's energy sources; it also would have the potential to generate thousands of long-term jobs and create a sustainable industry that could become the envy of the nation," Lancaster says.
According to Clemson, approximately 1,100 people in South Carolina work in areas that involve wind energy.
The state continues to look to industry and research collaborations to fill the needs of the marketplace and keep the state competitive.
"[The state Department of] Commerce supports ongoing research and development that will help further our state's portfolio of alternative and sustainable energy, including wind," says South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. "These industries can help fill the pipeline with high-skilled, high-paying jobs."