NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (News Release) – South Carolina Senator Greg Hembree has pre-filed Senate Bill S-166. This legislation would pave the way for market-based offshore wind energy projects.
Senate Bill S-166 would accomplish this by requiring the Public Service Commission to draft the regulations necessary for energy producers to experiment with offshore wind energy farms. Senator Hembree stated, "The proposal would not require energy producers to spend money on wind; however, it would give them the option to implement wind energy projects subject to the approval of the Public Service Commission. This legislation is one more step toward market-based energy independence."
Last session Sen. Hembree introduced a similar bill that was given a favorable recommendation by a special sub-committee and by the full Senate Judiciary committee. The bill reached the Senate floor but a vote was blocked by Sen. Shane Martin (R-Spartanburg) citing concerns that the bill mandated government support for wind energy. "I am hopeful that Senator Martin will reconsider his position. This proposal focuses on market based exploration of offshore wind, not some government handout to energy companies," Sen. Hembree said.
The bill will likely be referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.