Paul Alongi, College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences
South Carolina has more than enough land suitable to generate the large amounts of solar power that would be needed to meet goals calling for all energy to come from renewable sources by 2050, according to new research at Clemson University.
Industrial engineering major Amanda Farthing led the study, working on it for two years as an undergraduate research project.
Farthing and the team at the university’s Center for Geospatial Technologies created maps showing which lands in South Carolina would be most suitable for generating solar energy at utility scale. One map shows lands suitable for five-megawatt developments and another shows lands for one-megawatt developments.
“The big takeaway is that solar presents a great opportunity in South Carolina and that it can be developed in a way that considers both environmental and social preferences,” Farthing said.
The research could help South Carolina continue its explosive growth in generating solar energy while minimizing conflicts that could arise over land use. Installed solar capacity in the state grew 303 percent in the past year, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. Read Full Story »