Renewable Energy : Wind Power

"In the most successful rehabilitations, old and new learn from each other."- Jean Carroon, FAIA, LEED AP, Principal for Preservation, Goody Clancy

"Green" has become a product driven movement- while it is important not to get lost in all the green "stuff"- it is also important to recognize the potential benefits of renewable technology. We have come a long way.


We have been harnessing the wind's energy for hundreds of years. Historically, windmills were used for pumping water or grinding grain. Modern wind turbines take note from traditional windmills and are mounted on a tower to capture the most energy. However, today's modern equivalents tower above their ancestors, standing at 100 feet or more above ground, And these sleek towers mounted with propeller like blades can use the wind's energy to generate electricity!

Residential installations of wind turbines

Modern wind turbines can be installed as stand-alone applications to serve traditional purposes such as pumping water. Or they can be used as a way to cut electric bills! By connecting the turbine to a utility power grid or even combined with a photovoltaic (solar cell) system, the wind turbine can generate electricity to be used on the site. When connected to a utility power grid, an excess energy produced by the wind turbine and not used on the site can be sold back to the utility!

A single wind device usually has the capacity of 1.2kW of electricity and can produce an average of 2000 kWh in a year.

Large-scale installations of wind turbines

Modern wind turbines provide a renewable energy alternative to the production of electricity that has long relied on non-renewables. When arranged in large wind array, these systems can generate utility-scale sources of wind energy.

South Carolina's Role in Offshore Wind Power!

Wind Research Facility in Charleston!

The former Charleston Naval Base in North Charleston is now the future site of the Clemson Restoration Institute's wind-turbine testing facility. In 2009, the Department of Energy awarded a $45 million grant to the Clemson Restoration Institute to research and develop ocean-based wind turbines at the former Naval base. This center will be the first ever testing facility for the renewable wind power, putting South Carolina and Charleston on the "cutting edge of research and development of renewable energy."

This multi-million dollar wind-turbine testing center broke ground in the fall of 2010, with plans to create a five-building campus for private companies to use as laboratories. This first stage will begin the trend of restoring buildings at the former naval base, eventually working towards establishing a 26-acre campus, "where the minds of university and business leaders will merge to research and test the clean, green energy systems of the future."

Learn more!

Winds of Change at Old Base!

New Wind Research Facility in Charleston!

Former Naval base secures 45 m wind turbine development grant