South Carolina possesses the keys to developing an offshore wind industry, but the state needs to come together to overcome the challenges associated with such a huge project, according to Nick Rigas, director of renewable energy at the Clemson University Restoration Institute.
Speaking at a two-day workshop on South Carolina offshore wind development, Rigas said the state is home to established port facilities, shallow offshore waters, wind resources and a large and growing coastal demand center for electricity.
Further, the state has an existing wind energy industry, and Rigas cited the presence of GE Energy, Ilgin and other companies. German wind industry manufacturer IMO Group recently selected Dorchester County as the site for its first U.S. factory.
The state has become an important player in the nation's emerging offshore wind industry based largely on what he called a ‘grassroots’ movement, Rigas said.
However, many challenges remain, he added, including the need for ongoing technical innovation, established permitting guidelines and public policy, and the desire to be the first to ‘take the plunge.’
The workshop was held at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources in Charleston and was organized by the Regulatory Task Force for Coastal Clean Energy, the South Carolina Energy Office and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management.
SOURCE: Clemson University