South Carolina: Offshore Wind Could Bring over 800 Annual Jobs
The offshore wind industry could support an annual average of 847 jobs in the U.S. state of South Carolina through 2035, according to The South Carolina Jobs Project: A Guide to Creating Jobs in Offshore Wind report.
The report, conducted by the American Jobs Project (AJP) in partnership with the Burroughs and Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies (BCCMWS) and BVG Associates, states the figure includes jobs in the development, installation and operation of offshore wind farms in the state, as well as component manufacturing for local and regional projects.
According to AJP, growing South Carolina’s offshore wind industry is a promising economic driver to the state’s current status of having the 45th lowest labor force participation rate in the nation and a poverty rate of more than 15%.
The report writes that the state has the sixth-highest net technical offshore wind resource potential in the U.S. and could meet more than fifty times its electricity needs with offshore wind.
In addition, it is said to have a competitive edge in offshore wind manufacturing and deployment due to synergy with existing in-state industries including automotive instrumentation, advanced composites, shipbuilding and logistics.
“Offshore wind could provide stable employment for hundreds of middle-class workers while creating follow-on benefits for the broader labor market,” said Mary Collins, Managing Director of AJP and co-author of the report.
“South Carolina leaders could position the state as a pioneer in the regional market and put some of the first turbines into Southeast waters.”
In order to capitalize on the industry, the report recommends that South Carolina fosters the commercialization culture at universities, assesses the offshore wind readiness of local ports to support current and future needs, as well as emphasizes offshore wind as a potential tourist attraction.
“Jumpstarting South Carolina’s offshore wind conversation would position us to benefit from this quickly growing sector,” said Paul Gayes, Executive Director of BCCMWS.
“Right now, there are $56 billion committed to Atlantic Coast offshore wind projects. AJP’s report shows that we can leverage South Carolina’s industry strengths to provide support for these projects and nurture local projects that would grow the economy while meeting our energy needs.”
A number of U.S. Atlantic Coast states have committed to developing over 8GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, with New Jersey taking the first place with a 3.5GW target, followed by New York’s 2.4GW commitment. Massachusetts’ goal is to add 1.6GW, with Maryland committed to two projects with a combined capacity of some 368MW. Connecticut recently pushed the overall offshore wind target over the 8GW mark.