McMaster issues order to develop plans to handle state’s future energy needs

McMaster has issued an executive order to establish a group that will make sure SC will meet the needs of the state’s growing population and industries.
Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 7:30 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 10, 2023 at 6:58 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has issued an executive order to establish a group that will make sure the Palmetto State will be able to meet the needs of the state’s growing population and industries.

McMaster’s Executive Order 2023-18 establishes the PowerSC Energy Resources and Economic Development Interagency Working Group, which will be known as PowerSC. It will work with the state’s energy customers and providers to develop strategic plans to ensure the state can handle the needs of the state’s “record-breaking economic development and population growth,” according to a release from the governor’s office.

“South Carolina has enjoyed unprecedented economic success and population growth in recent years, and with that success comes a need for greater energy generation,” McMaster said. “By establishing PowerSC, we ensure that South Carolina can meet these increased energy demands while also keeping energy costs low for consumers and ratepayers.”

He said PowerSC will play a critical role in various aspects of the state’s energy future. It will develop an updated state energy plan with the Office of Regulatory Staff, facilitating additional coordination between the state’s utility providers. It will also assess opportunities to incorporate additional nuclear power production and natural gas pipeline or generation capacity.

He said PowerSC will identify opportunities to improve state licensing and permitting processes related to energy infrastructure, evaluate building codes to recommend modifications to enhance energy efficiency, and work with industry stakeholders, education providers, and other state agencies to evaluate supply gaps in the state’s energy workforce.

PowerSC will be compromised of the following entities:

  • Office of the Governor
  • Office of Regulatory Staff, including the Energy Office
  • Environmental Affairs Administration, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
  • Division of Land, Water, and Conservation, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
  • South Carolina Department of Transportation
  • South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce
  • South Carolina Office of Resilience
  • South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation

The release states the new executive order works hand-in-hand with an earlier order which formalized McMaster’s efforts to coordinate the future rollout of the state’s electric vehicle infrastructure and creat an interagency group to build a plan for deploying electric vehicle-related resources statewide.

“Since Governor McMaster took office in 2017, South Carolina has announced over 700 economic development projects, totaling more than $32.5 billion in new investment and over 81,000 new jobs,” the release states. It cites the U.S. Census Bureau, stating South Carolina is the third fastest-growing state in the nation.