SC Nexus Receives Federal Designation As Regional Technology, Innovation Hub For Advanced Energy | Greenville Business Magazine

SC Nexus Receives Federal Designation As Regional Technology, Innovation Hub For Advanced Energy | Greenville Business Magazine

The Nexus for Advanced Resilient Energy (SC Nexus) received
the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development
Administration’s (EDA) designation as one of 31 Regional Technology and
Innovation Hubs (Tech Hubs)

The South Carolina Department of Commerce (S.C.
Commerce) submitted
the application
 for designation on behalf of SC Nexus, a consortium of
higher education institutions, technical colleges, numerous state agencies, the
Savannah River National Laboratory, economic development alliances, community
organizations, non-profits and private companies, including electric utilities.

The EDA received nearly 400 Tech Hub applications, and of
the 31 designations located across 32 states and Puerto Rico, three of the Tech
Hubs, including SC Nexus, are in the Atlanta Region. As an officially
designated Tech Hub, SC Nexus will expand concerted efforts focusing on
Advanced Energy Resiliency, the consortium’s selected technology focus.

Additionally, as a designated Tech Hub, SC Nexus will be
eligible to apply for EDA’s Phase 2 funding – to leverage and accelerate existing
efforts – available through the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, which
authorized $10 billion over five years for the Tech Hubs effort. Phase 2 will
award implementation grants between $40-$70 million each, to at least five
designated Tech Hubs, totaling approximately $500 million.

“Receiving the federal Tech Hubs designation signals to the
world that South Carolina has the necessary assets and infrastructure to create
a real impact in the advanced energy resiliency sector,” said Gov. Henry
McMaster. “Collaboration has long been a key component to our success, and
we’re confident SC Nexus’ concerted efforts will align our state as a leader in
advanced energy technology development, contributing to our national security
by bolstering energy independence.”

Collectively, SC Nexus’ efforts will focus the consortium’s
Advanced Resilient Energy technological advancement efforts across a defined
geography consisting of the Midlands and Upstate regions, encompassing the
Metropolitan Statistical Areas of Greenville-Anderson, Spartanburg and
Columbia, as well as surrounding counties such as Aiken and Orangeburg.

Notably, this area covers more than 60 percent of the
state’s distressed counties. Of the long-term jobs created by SC Nexus’
efforts, the consortium has the target for more than 40 percent of those jobs
to be sourced from underserved and rural communities. While initial activity
will be concentrated within SC Nexus’ defined geography, the long-term impacts
will cascade across the region, state and the Southeastern U.S., benefiting rural
and underserved communities, officials said.

Officials said SC Nexus’ work will target innovation and
efforts geared toward enhancing energy generation, distribution and storage,
which will result in the:

Officials said achieving a Tech Hub designation further
aligns SC Nexus with the state’s ongoing focus on energy resiliency and the
development of advanced energy technology, underscored by McMaster’s Executive
Order 2023-18, designed to secure South Carolina’s energy future. Related
efforts will complement and reinforce the work of powerSC, which the executive
order established, the officials said.

 SC Nexus has garnered
support from South Carolina’s entire federal legislative delegation, as well as
key leaders from the South Carolina House and Senate.

A public and private consortium, led by S.C. Commerce, SC
Nexus consists of more than 35 members including seven core members. In addition
to S.C. Commerce, the initial core members are:

The Phase 2 funding application window closes Feb. 29, 2024.
SC Nexus will continue to conduct consortium meetings to pursue available
funding and to fulfill the designation and beyond.