MOVING TOWARDS CLEAN ENERGY: Lawmakers and industry leaders discuss future of SC power at Governor’s energy summit

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Since 2017, South Carolina reports more than 32 billion dollars in investment in the state.

The increase in economic activity also means more energy resources must be found.

“This success is directly dependent on a reliable, safe, steady source of clean energy,” said Gov. Henry McMaster.

Concerns arose in South Carolina this past winter after parts of the state experienced temporary power outages.

“We’re not at our full capacity yet but we’re getting pretty close,” the governor said.

This means the state must explore all energy sources available. McMaster announced today the creation of a task force called ‘Power SC’ that will explore all options.

“Whether you believe in clean energy or not, that is a demand of industries that are locating here,” said Rep. Murrell Smith, Republican Speaker of the House. “They’re going to demand clean energy. It’s not a request, it’s a demand.”

The main source of clean energy in the state is nuclear power. South Carolina is currently home to four nuclear plants.

”We’re about 54 of 56 percent nuclear power now. There’s a lot of interest in solar power. There’s some interest in wind energy. There’s a lot of interest in gas,” McMaster said. “We want to travel towards clean energy. The question is: how do we get there without slowing down?”

A way of providing nuclear power to rural areas involves the usage of small modular reactors.

“That’s a part of the future as well,” the governor said. “They’re a lot smaller and expensive. They can be put out in all places and set up a lot quicker than big nuclear plants.”

Industry leaders hope to provide affordable, reliable power that also does not cause significant damage to the environment.

“There’s a lot of people throughout this state that realize the importance of our natural resources,” said Rep. Nathan Ballentine, Republican from Chapin. “The governor, the lieutenant governor and my colleagues do as well. We need to respect and protect the land, air and water that we have.”


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