Is it Windy Enough in South Carolina?
Steve Stackhouse-Kaelble (Dec/Jan 10)
Because it's located in South Carolina, state-owned power generator and electric/water utility Santee Cooper benefits from its proximity to the ocean. The power provider has been busy researching the potential for an offshore wind farm to generate green power, but is also exploring the possibilities for onshore creation of renewable energy.
The first step was installation of an anemometer at the end of the Georgetown Fishing Pier. The device will collect data on wind speed for several months; if it seems promising, Santee Cooper hopes to install a small-scale, two-kilowatt wind turbine at the location. The project is first and foremost a demonstration of the potential of wind power - the turbine would be linked to the Internet so students and other interested citizens could check out the power output on a real-time basis.
The project is important because, if all goes well, it could prove the viability of smaller-scale wind power production in South Carolina. Santee Cooper has already researched land-based wind speeds and found that they are not strong enough to propel industrial-scale wind turbines; but it is hoping that green power generation on a smaller scale will turn out to be an attractive alternative.