Wind Power News: South Carolina
These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.
South Carolina House stalls renewable energy tax breaks that solar advocates wanted, halting bill this year
COLUMBIA – After receiving wide-spread support in the Senate more than three months ago, state representatives derailed a pro-solar energy bill that would reduce property taxes for renewable energy projects in South Carolina. A House subcommittee chaired by Rep. Brian White, R-Anderson, voted to end debate on the sought-after legislation, which solar industry officials say could increase investment of renewable energy projects in the state – a sector that is worth billions of dollars. The proposed law would allow commercial-sized solar projects . . .
The once-endangered bald eagle has run smack into human progress. Federal regulators have approved a controversial proposal to allow the take, or unintended killing, of the protected birds without penalty, under a single permit issued for as long as 30 years. In contrast, a hunter killing an eagle without a permit could be fined $15,000 and jailed for six months. In other “take” cases, a permit is required for each kill. The loosening of permit restrictions is designed, like the . . .
CAPE ROMAIN – A company seeking to build a wind farm off New Jersey wants to see how the wind blows off Bulls Bay and Charleston, too. Fisherman’s Energy is one of two companies whose officials have told federal regulators they are interested in permits for areas off the coast. Fisherman’s Energy wants to work in a large stretch within 10 miles of the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge – an area opposed by local conservationists – and two smaller stretches farther out, . . .
The US has shifted strategy for leasing offshore wind tracts along the coast of North Carolina, where more than 300,000 acres have been identified for development. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has moved two of three proposed wind energy areas into the South Carolina leasing process, the agency said in a task force meeting on 19 April. The 51,600-acre Wilmington West and 133,600-acre Wilmington East tracts border the much larger 628,000-acre Grand Strand lease area in South Carolina and . . .
Federal agencies plan to survey residents of North Carolina and South Carolina on their support of proposed wind farm development off their coasts. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will use the survey’s results in evaluating commercial leases across more than 300,000 acres of federal waters. North Carolina’s outer continental shelf is the latest area that the Interior Department has eyed for commercial wind development (Greenwire, Sept. 17, 2015). BOEM and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will work together . . .
Dive Brief: South Carolina Electric and Gas and Duke Energy Carolinas, the state’s investor-owned electricity providers, have announced they will not pursue the offshore wind development opportunity recently opened in federal Atlantic Ocean waters by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). Santee Cooper, the public power company that is South Carolina’s third biggest electricity provider, will consider contracting for competitively priced wind-generated electricity from independent power producers (IPPs) who develop in the four ocean tracts offered for exploratory lease bids by the . . .
Developing wind energy offshore South Carolina’s coast will be a long and complicated project that could take as long as a decade, but if no private investors come forward to pay for the effort the entire process would be dead in the water. That’s according to Brian Krevor, environmental protection specialist for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Krevor and nearly a dozen federal employees participated in a hearing Wednesday night in Murrells Inlet to explain to Grand Strand residents . . .
Whether wind turbines will be placed offshore to generate electricity anytime soon could be decided in less than a month. Developers have until Jan. 25 to express an interest in any part or all of four huge areas at least 6 miles out. If not, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will suspend its effort to lease the waters, said Brain Krevor, BOEM environmental protection specialist. So far, none has. That’s not so unusual, said BOEM project coordinator Jeffrey . . .
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have requirements that utilities get a certain amount of their electricity from renewable sources. Nine additional states have goals for renewable energy, while a dozen others have no targets. A state-by-state look at renewable energy policies. ALABAMA No renewable energy standard. ALASKA A bill passed in 2010 sets a goal, but not a requirement, for Alaska to receive half its electricity from renewable and alternative energy sources by 2025. ARIZONA Public utilities must . . .
As the federal government moves forward with plans to lease areas off the South Carolina coast for wind turbines, a section off Pawleys Island will be removed from the project so the turbines won’t be visible from the town’s historic district. The Bureau of Offshore Energy Management is soliciting interest from companies that want to buy leases. The deadline is Jan. 25. The bureau will also prepare an environmental assessment of the impact of the leases. It has scheduled a . . .