Residents of the South Carolina shoreline could see an offshore wind farm eight miles or more out in the Atlantic Ocean, according to a photo simulation conducted for utility company Santee Cooper by Clemson University's South Carolina Institute for Energy Studies (SCIES).
Typical summer haze would reduce the visibility by about half, according to the simulation. The photo simulation is part of Santee Cooper's ongoing research into the viability of a potential offshore wind farm that would generate renewable electricity for the state-owned utility system. Santee Cooper has set a goal of generating 40% of its electricity by 2020 from non-greenhouse gas emitting resources.
In addition to researching available wind, transmission capabilities, anticipated costs and other factors, Santee Cooper is considering visibility and how that will impact existing onshore land use and tourism considerations.
Offshore wind farms have proven to be tourist attractions in parts of Europe, fostering chartered boat tours to the farms, notes Marc Tye, Santee Cooper's vice president of conservation and renewable energy.
‘Other experience does show that an offshore wind farm in South Carolina could complement existing tourism attractions in the area we are studying,’ he says.
In the simulation, SCIES photographed ocean views from various coastal points along Horry and Georgetown counties, roughly matching the two areas hosting an ongoing wind buoy study by Santee Cooper and Coastal Carolina University.
SOURCE: Santee Cooper