The SRS Energy Park:
New Business Opportunities and Jobs
Since the mid 1990s, there has been talk about developing energy parks on the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Savannah River Site (SRS) in which innovative alternative energy sources could be developed and demonstrated to move the country toward energy independence. With the recent proposed “footprint” reduction of SRS, surplus and underutilized DOE land, facilities, infrastructure, and human capital could be redeployed for the purpose of accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy by helping to demonstrate and develop commercial supply chains for advance nuclear technologies.
More than a physical site, the “energy park” is a fully integrated technology community that promotes networking and strategic partnerships to promote sustainable economic development and use of all forms of renewable energy to benefit the people of the SRSCRO Region. The energy park concept will help the Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization (SRSCRO) meet its mission to facilitate economic development by providing new business opportunities and jobs for the five-county, two-state region of Georgia and South Carolina. An “energy park” provides the community with another tool for economic development and as a supplement to, and a unique characteristic of, the SRSCRO Region to attract investment and jobs that might otherwise go to other locations outside the region.
It will specifically build on the SRSCRO Region’s considerable nuclear infrastructure which encompasses commercial nuclear power plants, research and development, medical applications and cutting-edge technology designed to enhance a strong nuclear defense, minimize nuclear waste and lead the way toward future advanced nuclear-based technologies. As a result, portions of the “energy park” community may be located “off-site” (outside the SRS fence but within the SRSCRO Region community) or “on-site” (inside the SRS fence or on property located within the boundaries of the Savannah River Site). If government land is needed to fully implement an energy park on SRS property, the DOE can lease land directly to the SRS Community Reuse Organization (SRSCRO).
In the specific case of “on-site” targets, the envisioned energy park will provide the community with locations for new economic activity, which are not suited for existing “off-site” industrial parks. In both cases, the energy park will provide unique advantages to all parties involved – tenants, DOE, local governments and regional economic development organizations. Energy Park activities will further U. S. energy policy, leverage SRS capabilities for private sector jobs and investment and offer a unique commercial location for joint DOE and non-DOE private sector energy initiatives.
To these ends, SRSCRO has identified and articulated three objectives to provide a frame of reference for the “energy park” community.
- Create a “Center of Excellence” for Applied Energy Technology
- Create a business environment for collaboration and interaction of private and public-private partnerships
- Create new economic development opportunities and job creation for the SRSCRO Region
The proposed SRSCRO Region energy hub will be ideally situated on the South Carolina-Georgia border and strategically centered in the fast-growing and business-friendly Southeastern United States. It is within a day’s drive of three-fourths of the U. S. population and convenient to large U. S. ports, air transportation and interstate highways.
For a copy of the SRSCRO Strategic Plan focusing on the vision for the “on-site” component of the energy park concept, click here.