A public forum in Myrtle Beach Monday focused on off-shore wind turbines as a clean alternative energy source, and what would need to happen to make wind energy a reality in South Carolina.
The meeting was led by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. Group spokesman Hamilton Davis told SCRN “off-shore wind presents the largest opportunity South Carolina has in terms of renewable energy.”
An Energy Department study shows that steady winds off the coast of South Carolina could generate enough energy to power thousands of homes.
Davis says there are benefits to using wind turbines, such as not paying for fuel to run them after they are built. He also says that “you’re not buying wind,” so they would ultimately pay off in the long run.
Researchers do agree there are issues that make off-shore turbines a difficult option for alternative energy, because turbines are expensive to build and hundreds would be needed in order to produce a sufficient amount of electricity.
Davis says while turbines may be expensive to produce, he believes that wind energy is the future for South Carolina.
As of now there is a small-scale 30ft wind turbine on land in North Myrtle Beach, but the proposed plan would be to build 400-foot turbines off-shore on the coasts of the Carolinas.
South Carolina Radio Network’s Tripp Girardeau contributed to this report.