COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – State lawmakers said South Carolina’s energy grid is at a critical juncture. They are sounding the alarm about the need to address potential shortfalls in power production.

With rapid population growth and increased capital investments, the demand for energy in the state is reaching unprecedented levels, House Speaker Murrell Smith (R-Sumter) told a panel of lawmakers.

Smith called on the House Economic and Utility Modernization Ad-Hoc Committee to explore strategies for boosting power generation in the state.

During their latest meeting, Smith emphasized that it’s a collective responsibility to proactively address these issues. He highlighted that the lack of power generation has not only affected the state’s economy but also cost South Carolina potential employers.

“I believe we’ve lost some major, major employers as a result of that. We have to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Smith continued. “I believe when we look at this, some of our competitors and neighboring states are offering a rate much less than what is in South Carolina.”

The Ad Hoc Committee’s mission is to come up with a comprehensive energy reform package that lawmakers can consider potentially next year. Speaker Smith said their objective is to ensure that South Carolina can meet its energy needs efficiently and sustainably.

The State Department of Commerce underscored the critical role energy accessibility plays in site development, business recruitment, and global competitiveness during that same meeting.

Deputy Secretary Ashley Teasdel told the panel that companies coming to South Carolina require more energy than ever before. The state’s ability to meet this demand directly influences its attractiveness to businesses and, in turn, its economic growth, Teasdel said.

Earlier this week, South Carolina’s Nexus for Advanced Resilient Energy, also known as SC Nexus, received federal recognition as a regional technological and innovation hub. This designation promises to bring more clean energy jobs and federal investments in the state.