About five years ago, Marc Jordan, President and CEO of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, and his chamber colleagues began discussions about the economic potential of clean energy for South Carolina. Back then, he says, “people looked at us a little strange.” Today, with the expected announcement in his hometown of federal leases for new offshore wind farms, Jordan and his chamber colleagues find more and more people sitting up and taking notice.
Jordan brings an infectious enthusiasm to his community, particularly on the subject of wind energy. “We have an entrepreneurial business climate here in North Myrtle Beach,” Jordan said. “We’re encouraging businesses in the wind energy sector – from component part suppliers to research companies – to move to our community. We see clean energy as the best way to separate North Myrtle Beach from the competition.”
In 2010, the Chamber helped build a coalition of local wind energy champions with a plan to bring clean energy investment, jobs, innovation, and statewide recognition to the town. The effort paid off: North Myrtle Beach became the first place in South Carolina to host a grid-connected wind turbine.
And with the expected fall announcement of new offshore lease opportunities for wind, the Chamber will see a huge return on its early efforts to bring wind energy to South Carolina. Jordan believes that the wind turbines will stimulate construction and maintenance jobs and attract further investment to his town.
Jordan’s early efforts on wind energy earned him an appointment by Gov. Nikki R. Haley to a task force on renewable energy. The Chamber also helped to craft and win passage by the South Carolina legislature of a resolution recognizing the merits of wind as an alternative source of energy.
An article about the expected announcement of new federal leases can be found here.