The North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce Convention & Visitors Bureau recently held a luncheon in conjunction with the North Strand Coastal Wind Team and City of North Myrtle Beach to recognize its Wind Team partners and commemorate the installation of the three wind turbines in the greater North Myrtle Beach area.
North Strand Coastal Wind Team Partners that were recognized included Santee Cooper, Coastal Carolina University, Clemson University, Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, Savannah River National Laboratory, South Carolina Energy Office, South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, Jim Caudle Reef Foundation, City of North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach Economic Development Corporation, SCORE, South Carolina Power Team, and South Carolina Budget & Control Board.
From Left: North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Marc Jordan, North Strand Coastal Wind Team Director Monroe BaldAccording to Marc Jordan, President and Chief Executive Officer of North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, the North Myrtle Beach project is in some ways an extension of the Palmetto Wind Project, which is a state-funded initiative determining the feasibility of wind energy offshore South Carolina. The Chamber’s economic development committee worked in partnership with the City of North Myrtle Beach and with Coastal Carolina University’s Center for Marine & Wetland Studies and set up the first wind test station atop the Avista Resort to gather wind energy data.
Santee Cooper installed the first wind turbine in North Myrtle Beach, adjacent to Towers on the Grove, in Cherry Grove Beach. Working at the State level, North Myrtle Beach received a grant through the South Carolina Energy Office that allowed the Chamber to purchase two wind turbines that have been installed at Burgess Preserve on the Marsh at Cherry Grove and City Park at First Avenue South. There are four other sites approved for the innovative City Codes developed for these wind turbines. Both City Council and DHEC research permits are in place. Partners are being sought for the remaining four sites for wind turbines in the North Myrtle Beach area.
Dr. Paul Gayes and his team at Coastal Carolina University continue to collect wind energy data and report it to Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College, as the initial element of wind energy education in South Carolina.
“North Myrtle Beach is the only community in South Carolina which has embraced the future of wind energy the way that we have,” stated Monroe Baldwin, Chairman of the North Strand Coastal Wind Team and a founder of the Wind Initiative.