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SCE&G Energy Innovation Center

A state-of-the-art facility that will play a central role in shaping America’s energy future.


The SCE&G Energy Innovation Center houses the Duke Energy eGRID, an electrical grid simulator, and the world’s most-advanced wind-turbine drivetrain testing facility capable of full-scale highly accelerated mechanical and electrical testing of advanced drivetrain systems for wind turbines. The two labs are linked and allow researchers to work on some of the technical challenges that need to be overcome to widen the use of renewable energy, such as wind and solar power.

ABOUT THE CENTER

On Nov. 23, 2009 the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy awarded a $45 million grant – the largest single award in university history and largest single grant by the U.S. DOE for wind power – to Clemson University. The purpose of the grant was to design, build and operate a facility capable of full-scale, highly accelerated testing of next-generation wind turbine drive-train technology.

The US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy objectives for the project are to:

  • Accelerate the development and deployment of new wind turbine technology.
  • Reduce the cost of energy delivered that will result in further growth in the market leading to economic development.
  • Support the country’s push towards energy independence.

The $98M facility, which includes $53M of private and state contributions, is strategically located at the Clemson University Restoration Institute’s (CURI) campus at the former U.S. Naval Base in North Charleston, South Carolina. Modeled after the success of the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research, the facility forges public/private partnerships in a unique industrial, port environment.

The world-class facility was named the SCE&G Energy Innovation Center during a dedication ceremony in November 2013. The center houses the world’s most-advanced wind-turbine drivetrain testing facility capable of full-scale highly accelerated mechanical and electrical testing of advanced drivetrain systems for wind turbines.

The Duke Energy eGRID — Electrical Grid Research Innovation and Development — Center is housed in the SCE&G Energy Innovation Center. The 15-megawatt hardware-in-the-loop grid simulator supports education, research and economic development to speed new electrical technologies to market. The eGRID can simulate the electrical grid of any country in the world.

Supports not only the wind turbines but also provides the entire power conversion industry a controlled and calibrated environment for a complete suite of multi-megawatt electrical testing solutions.

Wind Turbine Test Beds

The world’s most advanced wind-turbine drivetrain testing facility, capable of full-scale, highly accelerated mechanical and electrical testing. The center houses both a 7.5MW and a 15MW test rig.