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A wind farm off South Carolina's coast not only would reduce the state's dependence on fossil fuels, but also boost the existing maritime industry and create a host of new companies, according to Nick Longfield, managing director of U.K.-based Ocean Marine Services Ltd.

Longfield told a group of Charleston, S.C., maritime businesses that spin-off companies will generate jobs that help build the offshore wind farms and maintain them once they are operational. The nature of those businesses will run the gamut, from divers and boat owners to ferry labor and materials offshore, to suppliers of safety equipment and tools.

"Many satellite companies will develop from an offshore wind farm project," Longfield says. "And if you're there at the start, you'll not only benefit locally, but you will become the experts."

Clemson University's Restoration Institute - a partner in Palmetto Wind, South Carolina's offshore wind farm initiative - welcomed Longfield to the U.S. for a series of presentations on the logistics of developing offshore wind farms.

Longfield has more than 35 years of experience in the maritime and alternative energy industries. He became involved in Great Britain's first offshore wind farms a decade ago, including conducting site surveys and developing techniques for environmental impact studies.

Speaking to members and guests of the Propeller Club of Charleston, who sponsored his visit, Longfield said that countries around the world are examining fossil fuel alternatives to generate power.

SOURCE: Clemson University's Restoration Institute


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