Click here to read S.166/H.3026
WHAT THIS BILL DOES
- Directs the SC Public Service Commission to adopt regulations enabling investment in offshore wind research and development (R&D) activities.
- Regulations would allow cost recovery plus reasonable return for utilities to invest in activities intended to result in economic development opportunities related to offshore wind.
- Examples of R&D activities include a demonstration project (up to 75 megawatts), wind resource studies, regional collaborations, and partnership initiatives with universities.
WHAT THIS BILL DOES NOT DO
- It does not require utilities to make any investments or conduct any activities. It only enables.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT FOR SOUTH CAROLINA?
- Jobs and Economic Development
- The offshore wind industry will “arrive” in the U.S. sometime in the next decade, bringing an entirely new coastal manufacturing and construction industry. This bill keeps South Carolina “in the game” for attracting those new jobs.
- An economic impact study conducted by Clemson University in 2012 estimated that developing a 1,000 megawatt offshore wind project (<1% of SC potential) would result in over 3,800 jobs, $3.6 billion in economic output, and over $600 million in state & local government revenue.
- The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that offshore wind will support 170,000 jobs by 2030 under a “moderate” growth scenario. With skilled manufacturing labor and the lowest estimated construction costs in the nation, South Carolina and the Southeast are well-positioned to attract those jobs if we are prepared for the opportunity.
- This bill allows for multi-state collaboration. A regional approach is even more compelling for attracting industry jobs in manufacturing, construction, and supply chain.
- Having more options for a diversified electricity portfolio is a good thing. This bill accelerates the timing for offshore wind being a cost-competitive option for SC.
- Offshore wind is one of the largest, non-imported energy resource options available in South Carolina and the Southeast.