A new study indicates the economic potential for offshore energy production, suggesting offshore energy could produce billions in wages and government revenue and thousands of jobs. There are currently plans in motion to develop a massive offshore wind farm off the coast of South Carolina. The wind farm is estimated to produce about 1,000 megawatts (MG) of clean energy.
The study,”S.C. Wind Energy Supply Chain Survey and Offshore Wind Economic Impact Study,” was conducted by Clemson University’s Restoration Institute and the Storm Thurmond Institute of Government and Public Affairs. The study highlighted the benefits of the development and the significant potential for the state.
According to the study, the wind project could create more than 2,900 jobs in South Carolina annually and produce $2 billion in wages, which doesn’t include the jobs created over the 10-year construction period. Over the 10-year construction period, an average of more than 3,900 green jobs are expect to be made annually. The wind project expects to generate $2 billion in annual wages from 2016 to 2030, as well as, $620 million in revenue annually for state and local governments.
The Deepwater Wind is a company that aims to be the first to build an offshore wind farm and recently submitted the final federal and state permit applications. Deepwater Wind proposal includes a $250 million development for a 30-MW offshore wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island’s Block Island.
Deepwater Wind invested more than $7 million and completed “the most thorough study ever conducted of a U.S. offshore wind farm.” The study involved dozens of experts such as biologists and ecologists with expertise in avian, marine mammal and fish species and their habitats; terrestrial and marine archaeologists; electrical, civil, structural, acoustic and marine engineers; architects; wetlands scientists; statisticians; and more. The study found offshore practices to have little impact on the ocean environment.
America has some of the best resources for offshore wind in the world, especially along the Atlantic coast. The South Carolina and Deepwater Wind developments could be among the first offshore wind energy pioneers – Harnessing some of the 52 GW of realistic wind-power potential, which could power 14 million homes with clean energy, create over 300,000 new jobs and $200 billion in new economic activity.