Charleston is rapidly becoming involved in America’s push for clean and renewable energy and has also become a well-known leader for new technology and innovation. A slew of recent happenings have propelled Charleston and better yet all of South Carolina to the forefront of next generation renewable and clean, wind generated energy.
First, Clemson University received a large $45 million DOE grant for a large scale wind turbine testing facility that is now known as the Clemson University Restoration Institute. This Restoration Institute established in 2004 is devoted to developing environmentally sustainable energies in South Carolina. This grant is the biggest single grant that Clemson University has ever received. This event triggered the mass awareness of South Carolina as the primary wind and renewable energy provider.
This coupled with Charleston’s emerging industrial market pulled in industrial manufacturers from as far away as Germany. The IMO Group, a German based company announced in March of 2010 that they plan to move a division called the IMO USA Corporation, to Charleston, South Carolina. The IMO USA Corp. leased a 40,000 SF facility for the manufacture and production of wind turbine parts, the companies’ trademark. IMO Group is consistently one of Bavaria’s Top 50 companies and is known as the worlds leading manufacturer of slewing rings and blade bearings for wind turbines. The IMO Group stated in their announcement to move to Charleston, South Carolina that in their search for a new home they were interested in only those locations within three hours of a major seaport, and access to a major airport. Also, combined with these advantages, IMO Group has stated that they are delighted about Charleston’s technically trained and academically prepared workforce and is excited about the move. “South Carolina is well known throughout Germany as a good place to do business,������������������������������������������������������������������� said Rüdiger Unverzagt, CEO of IMO USA Corp., ���Charleston’s strong port coupled with its strengthening profile in alternative energy gave us complete confidence in our decision to come here.”