Nov 23 2009

Department of Energy Awards Clemson University up to $45 Million for Next Generation of Wind Turbine Designs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement after the Department of Energy announced up to $45 million in grants to Clemson University for a wind energy test facility.  The facility will enhance the performance, durability and reliability of utility-scale wind turbines. 


The new facility will be located at the Charleston Naval Complex, a former Navy base in North Charleston, S.C. and will be a part of the Clemson University Restoration Institute campus.  The test facility will operate as a non-profit organization with a business model designed for sustainability while providing ongoing state-of-the-art testing to wind turbine manufacturers. 


Graham said: 


“With today’s announcement, Clemson University moves into the major leagues of alternative energy research.  There is a movement to transition our country away from the use of foreign oil as a primary source of energy.  I strongly support these efforts. 


“Last year we spent more than $440 billion on foreign oil and now find ourselves more dependent on overseas supplies than at any other time in our nation's history. America has been held hostage by foreign cartels far too long and we are now doing something about it. 


“With today’s announcement we once again see that South Carolina, through its many investments in research and technology, has a golden opportunity to lead the pack in an emerging green energy economy. Our state -- which trails in many areas -- is uniquely positioned to be one of the states to benefit the most, in the form of job creation and business investment, from clean energy. 


“I truly appreciate the leadership of Secretary of Energy Chu in choosing Clemson for this important grant.  I also appreciate the hard work of Congressman Clyburn and Congressman Brown in helping make the case in support of Clemson.  I didn’t vote for the stimulus or agree with many of the spending priorities.  But on this one, they did the right thing. 


“Today’s announcement is another step forward in creating jobs, cleaning our environment, and freeing our nation from dependency on foreign oil. I truly believe many of the solutions to the problem of making our nation energy independent will be found right here in South Carolina.  This is yet another example that our state is responding to the challenge and stepping up to take the lead.”