WMBF: North Myrtle Beach to Host Wind Energy Conference

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NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The City of North Myrtle Beach has been working to put up wind turbines as an alternative energy source, and now they’re gaining some national attention through the announcement of a wind conference headed to the North Strand.

The conference, called Southern Wind 2010, will bring in experts on wind energy from across over the country. City leaders say the conference will be a meeting of the minds to discuss the alternative energy and the profitability of harnessing wind energy.

City Councilman Greg Duckworth says North Myrtle Beach is on the cutting edge of technology.

“You can either lead or watch the train leave the station, and we’d like to think we’re leading change here in North Myrtle Beach,” Duckworth explained.

Duckworth says the North Strand Coastal Wind Team has been working to put up turbines for over a year at city beach access points, and they’re closer than ever.

“The bidding process has closed, and the selection committee intends to review those bids within the week and make a selection for the winning turbine installer,” Duckworth said.

With the city’s green reputation spreading, Marc Jordan, president of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, says the wind energy conference will also be a boost to tourism – especially important during the offseason.

“It helps with the shoulder seasons, because you’re not talking about bringing people like this in to discuss wind energy during the height of your tourist season. Here we are talking about November, which could lead into the winter months, some follow-up meetings and conferences,” Jordan said.

Jordan says it’s also possible that the turbines themselves could bring in a new kind of visitors – eco-tourists – where people visit the city to see the turbines and enjoy the beach at the same time.

City leaders hope the push for green energy and the wind conference will continue to carry interest into the North Strand.

The conference is scheduled for Nov. 30 – Dec. 2.