Energy Systems

The Energy Systems Team conducts research to develop bio-based and wind energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Scientists will bring together the intellectual capital of Clemson University and other state research institutions and industry partners to address the energy crisis and associated environmental challenges facing South Carolina and the nation through sources such as offshore coastal wind power, solar energy and bioenergy innovations.

Project scope includes development of:

  • Integration of renewable energy resources such as wind, solar and hydrogen
  • Studies to determine the feasibility of small- and commercial-scale wind energy
  • Innovative technologies to convert field crops, wood residue and algae into biofuels
  • Novel technologies to enhance agricultural crops for fuel production and to build industry partnerships

SCE&G Energy Innovation Center and Duke Energy eGRID
CURI Research Park - North Charleston

In November of 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded Clemson University a $45 million grant to build and operate a facility capable of full-scale, highly accelerated testing of next-generation wind turbine technology. The U.S. DOE EERE’s objective for this project is to accelerate the development and deployment of next-generation wind turbine technology to reduce the cost of energy delivered. The mission of the facility will forge public-private partnerships in a unique industrial coastal environment and support the nation’s emerging offshore wind industry and educate the workforce of the future.

In October 2010, Clemson University broke ground on the WTDTF facility in North Charleston, SC which will be capable of full-scale advanced testing of drivetrain systems, full nacelles, and simulation of blade forces. The facility will contain two test beds, a 7.5 megawatt and 15 megawatt, with dynamic non-torque loading. Capable of 50Hz or 60Hz testing, the facility can test for any unit bound for anywhere in the world.

SC Offshore Wind Collaborative

The SC Offshore Wind Collaborative is dedicated to accelerating South Carolina's entry into the coastal and off-shore wind power market, establishing it as a leader in the design, construction and operation of wind farms on the eastern seaboard through education and public outreach, research and economic development.  Learn more ...


Energy Systems
Program Contact:

Nicholas C. Rigas, Ph.D.
Energy Systems Director
Phone: 864-554-7226


SCE&G Energy Innovation Center (EIC)
Testing Capabilities
7.5 MW Test Rig
15 MW Test Rig

Duke Energy eGRID
15 MW Grid Simulator

Past Events

Dedication Ceremony
SCE&G Energy Innovation Center
Duke Energy eGRID
November 2013
(Link to Media Release)
Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing Facility Groundbreaking
October 2010
(Link to Media Release)
Summit on Renewable Energy
November 2009
(Link to Media Release)
Symposium on Energy:
Building Intellectual Capital for a Green Economy
November 2009