Supported by the Obama Administration, the federal government has awarded the South Carolina Energy Office (SCEO) a Wind Powering America grant of $109,000 for marketing acceptance. Erika Myers with the Energy Office says the project will focus on educating the public on wind energy offshore development and its potential. She explains what the grant is intended to do. “To get the United States to a point where 20 percent of our electricity is produced from wind power,” says Myers.
Myers says this is important because wind power seems to be a more consistent, stronger, and cheaper way to produce energy for electricity. This cleaner technology that doesn’t produce any carbon emissions, which environmentalists say pollute the air, would be radiated through offshore wind turbines that would be placed 1 to 20 miles off the coast of South Carolina.
“And then we would have transmission lines that would direct the current that’s being produced by the turbines to shore and integrated into the transmission lines. And so, the electricity would eventually end up at a home or a business where someone could use it as the electricity is being produced,” says Myers.
Which will allow those residents and businesses to reap the benefits of the project.
“What it means for the average resident of South Carolina, is if we were able to develop our offshore wind resources, we would not only be benefitting from the clean energy that is produced by the wind, but we would also see economic development opportunities along the coast, particularly our port areas of Georgetown and Charleston that could see new companies coming in that would be developing and maintaining these offshore wind farms,” says Myers.
Myers says this project will help with job creation in the state as well. For example, for every wind turbine there are jobs associated with manufacturing, engineering, environmental analysts, and operation and maintenance work just for the turbine to function properly.