Monitoring stations measure wind energy potential

By Susan Polowczuk

Wind may offer an alternative to foreign oil as a power source for South Carolina. Wind power is a clean, indigenous energy resource that potentially could provide a portion of the power needed for the rapidly growing demand along the coast.

To test the possibility, monitoring stations are being established at two coastal locations. The stations – on Waties Island near Cherry Grove and at Clemson’s Restoration Institute at the former Navy base in North Charleston – will measure whether coastal winds are sufficient to generate electricity.

Data will be collected for one year to assess the wind potential. If results are favorable, a commercial scale wind turbine is planned for North Charleston.

Research is being led by the S.C. Institute for Energy Studies (SCIES) at Clemson, along with Santee Cooper, Coastal Carolina University and the Savannah River National Laboratory. Funding for student participation is provided by the S.C. Research Authority.
“We hope this initiative sets the stage for South Carolina to serve as the hub for offshore wind development along the Atlantic Coast,” said Nick Rigas, director of SCIES and the renewable energy program at the Restoration Institute.

For more information: or Nick Rigas, 864-656-2267,