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Welcome to the South Carolina Institute for Energy Studies The South Carolina Institute for Energy Studies at Clemson University was founded by the State Legislature in 1982 to help South Carolina and the nation address energy related issues.


Since 1982, SCIES has successfully completed research projects in a wide range of energy focus areas. Following are a few examples of completed projects and new focus areas. Click the project link for more details.

On-Going and Completed Projects

  • Electric Vehicles - Via funding from the South Carolina Energy Office , SCIES is working with the Palmetto State Clean Fuels Coalition and Plug-In Carolina to develop a statewide plan for EV and EVSE rollout. Greenville County will serve as the pilot to validate the planning process. In another project, funded by the US DOE, SCIES is working with those same partners and representatives from Georgia and Alabama to develop a tri-state plan to enable electric vehicles.

  • Hydrogen Storage This DOE funded effort will demonstrate a hydrogen liquid carrier that has the potential to both reduce the weight and volume of on-board vehicle storage as well as the need for and cost of new fueling infrastructure.

  • Waste-to-Energy Made possible by a SC Department of Agriculture/South Carolina Energy Office grant, SCIES has led the planning, design, and construction of South Carolina's first agriculture waste-to-energy facility on a Williamsburg County swine farm to demonstrate the potential of this technology to agrucultural producers throughout the state.
  • Offshore Wind Feasibility This study, funded by Santee Cooper, is a comprehensive assessment of the many factors that determine the feasibility and cost effectiveness of implementing commercial scale offshore wind in South Carolina.

  • University Turbine Systems Research (UTSR) This DOE funded effort brings together 15 of the top gas turbine manufacturers and users with over 100 research universities from throughout the US to develop the technology base for gas turbines operating on synthesis gas and high hydrogen fuels.

  • Strategic Energy Plan for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians This DOE funded effort produced a comprehensive assessment of the renewable energy and energy efficiency opportunities on EBCI tribal lands.

  • Coastal Wind Power SCIES erected 50m anemometer towers at two coastal locations, collected one year of data and analyzed the results to assess the potential for coastal wind power for a SC utility.

  • Hydropower Under funding from a SC utility, SCIES identified 14 potential sites for new hydropower installations in SC and performed site visits and preliminary analysis to assess their potential and cost to develop.

Internally Funded Efforts

SCIES is always assessing new energy opportunities. Examples of our current internally funded efforts include:

  • SCIES is working with several partners to develop a plug-in electric vehicle hourly rental program at three Clemson locations to maximize student and faculty exposure to electric vehicles and to set the stage for programs to alleviate parking strain and reduce students' and university purchases of dedicated vehicles.
  • New approaches to wind and water turbine design that will reduce their size and cost
  • Improved methods of hydrogen storage and distribution that will accelerate the transition of hydrogen into the vehicle fuel market
  • A comprehensive plan for introducing electric vehicles into SC and early adopter opportunities
  • Waste-to-energy projects that will turn agricultural wastes, municipal solid waste and wastewater into a low cost, environmentally friendly energy resource.

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