1GW project could create 3,880 South Carolina jobs

Offshore wind forecast to deliver $3.7bn in regional GDP

Construction of a 1GW wind farm off South Carolina would create nearly 3,880 jobs in the state during the period 2016-2025, concludes a study from Clemson University.

The south-eastern US state would also benefit from almost $2bn (€1.5bn) in offshore wind-related wages and $616m in local and state government revenues as well as more than $1.9bn in additional annual disposable income and almost $3.7bn in regional gross domestic product during, according to the study.

The South Carolina Wind Energy Supply Chain Survey and Offshore Wind Economic Impact Study used an econometric model based on  a theoretical project deploying 3-5MW turbines in 25m water depth. The fictional project is located 100 miles (161km) from its staging port, with a 50 mile export cable and less than 30 miles to its operations and maintenance port.

"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," said Ashlie Lancaster, director of the South Carolina Energy Office, commenting on the study.

A January 2012 resource study prepared for the state’s energy advisory council found that South Carolina could host 3.3GW of offshore wind in the relatively near future. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has also identified South Carolina as one of nine states in the eastern US with the best offshore wind resources.