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The United States Government awards South Carolina $45 Million

SC NEXUS one of 12 tech hubs to receive millions in federal funding


SC NEXUS awarded $45 million to advance cyber-secure grid resilience technologies (GRT)​​​​​​

COLUMBIA – The SC Nexus for Advanced Resilient Energy (SC NEXUS) has received $45 million in implementation grant funding through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) Tech Hubs program, which is designed to scale up the production of critical technologies, create jobs in innovative industries, and strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness and national security.

Last fall, the EDA designated 31 entities across the country as federal tech hubs, including SC NEXUS.

The designation allowed the tech hubs to apply for approximately $500 million in grant funding. SC NEXUS is one of only 12 of the 31 tech hubs receiving funding.

The funding for SC NEXUS projects will better position the tech hub as it leverages the region’s dynamic manufacturing base, superior research capabilities, and proven record of public-private collaboration to commercialize emerging energy storage materials and manufacturing techniques.

“Today is a transformative day for South Carolina and SC NEXUS, and its efforts to strengthen our state’s energy future and economic competitiveness,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “Once again, our ability to collaborate and utilize our greatest resource – our people – has been recognized through the awarding of this funding.”

Of the six SC NEXUS projects submitted for funding consideration, the EDA awarded federal funding to four projects, including the:

  • Grid Enabled Cyber Operations Range project led by Savannah River National Lab – $9,995,816. This project will establish a cyber testing range for grid connected equipment, with both grid operator training and equipment testing benefits.
  • Economic Development Through Grid Emulation (EDGE) project led by Clemson University – $12.5 million. This project will upgrade the North Charleston eGRID facility’s power and voltage testing capabilities for grid-connected equipment.
  • Carolina Institute for Battery Innovation (CIBI) project led by the University of South Carolina – $10,218,140. This project will establish a stationary battery manufacturing pilot line in Columbia.
  • The Education and Workforce Center project, led by the SC Technical College System – $12,637,190. This project will enhance awareness of South Carolina’s energy-focused industries and job opportunities, identify, and develop the skills necessary for success in these roles, and provide critical support services to ensure advanced energy workers have access to these opportunities.

While the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Exchange (eiX) project, led by the South Carolina Research Authority, did not receive federal funding, further development of and securing funding for this project remain a top priority.

Also, the previously announced H2 Testbed project did not receive funding. SC NEXUS will not be moving forward with the project as described in the funding application. The project is currently in redevelopment, and new information will be shared as it becomes available.

“South Carolina is the place for businesses to excel from launch to legacy – the funding for and work through SC NEXUS will enhance speed to market when it comes to developing and deploying technologies that will help our state, the nation and the world meet the ever-growing energy needs,” said Secretary Harry M. Lightsey III.

SC NEXUS is a consortium that consists of more than 50 public and private member entities. As a federally designated tech hub, SC NEXUS will be given priority in future EDA funding opportunities.

For more information about SC NEXUS or how to join the tech hub, visit


  • SC NEXUS received $45 million in implementation grant funding through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) Tech Hubs program.
  • SC NEXUS is one of only 12 federally designated tech hubs to receive funding.
  • The EDA awarded funding to four of the six projects SC NEXUS submitted for funding. 
  • SC NEXUS will be given priority for future EDA funding opportunities.
  • For more information on SC NEXUS, visit



Governor Henry McMaster's Working Group Builds Foundation for Independent Forensic Accounting Review of State Funds

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The working group charged by Governor Henry McMaster this spring to look into questions surrounding the existence of $1.8 billion in state funds has prepared the documentation and information necessary for a state budget-funded forensic accounting review to begin work in the new fiscal year.

In accordance with Proviso 93.19 of the 2024-2025 state budget, the Department of Administration, whose Executive Director Marcia Adams was asked to coordinate the work efforts of all agencies participating in the working group, issued a request for proposals to engage an independent accounting firm to perform a forensic accounting review of cash and investments held in the State Treasury as well as a review of cash and investments found in the state’s historical annual comprehensive financial reports (ACFRs). The contract is expected to be awarded to an accounting firm around July 16.

“We recognize the importance of people and agencies working together — collaborating, communicating and cooperating — across boundaries to work for the citizens of our state,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “I commend the working group for doing just this. We will continue to build on their hard work and support and count on their aid to the outside accounting firm to conduct what will be a thorough review.”

The working group — comprising employees from the State Treasurer’s Office, Comptroller General’s Office, State Auditor’s Office, Department of Administration, Attorney General’s Office and the Governor’s Office — has been analyzing the 2022 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) restatement, collecting and organizing information and documentation, and enhancing any processes and collaboration among agencies involved in overseeing state financial activity.

“These individuals and agencies have been committed to working together to determine the existence, purpose and intended destination of the $1.8 billion in question, to find ways to improve collaboration among the agencies involved in state accounting and treasury processes and to build a foundation for a formal review by an outside accounting firm,” said Department of Administration Executive Director Marcia Adams.   

Since April, the working group, including outside counsel for the state engaged by the Attorney General’s Office, has met 11 times, in addition to numerous individual and cross-agency meetings.

Through this dedicated and collaborative approach, the working group achieved several accomplishments, including creating a centralized location for various bank and investment statements, cash reconciliations, cash comparisons and other related documents; creating a platform that allows for direct access to thousands of entries related to the conversion from legacy systems to the state’s current South Carolina Enterprise Information System (SCEIS) as well as to accounting entries related to the $1.8 billion in question; recreating reconciliations of ending cash balances in legacy systems and matching them to conversion amounts in SCEIS; documenting the relationship between agencies, treasury and ACFR funds; and creating an environment to test and analyze potential changes in SCEIS before making them.

The working group will continue to meet to discuss and analyze transactions and other information related to the $1.8 billion in question, including work related to the 2022 ACFR restatement and the enhancement of processes and collaboration among agencies involved in the oversight of state financial activity. In addition, the working group will work with the selected accounting firm in its review of the state’s cash and investments.



SC technology hub gets $45 million in federal money for energy projects

The state program was one of just a dozen nationwide to receive funding


COLUMBIA — A conglomerate of South Carolina colleges, a federal nuclear research laboratory and the state’s economic development agency won a $45 million federal grant to establish a technology hub focused on developing new energy technologies.

The hub, known as SC Nexus, was one of just a dozen federally recognized tech hubs awarded federal funding Tuesday after more than a year-long application process with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.

The U.S. Commerce Department designated a total of 31 hubs across the country with the aim of creating more high-paying technology jobs and making the nation more competitive in high-tech industries. But only 12 of those hubs went on to receive federal financial backing.

“We’re incredibly excited. Today really is a transformational day for South Carolina and for Nexus,” said Ashely Teasdel, deputy secretary with the S.C. Department of Commerce. “This effort is really about strengthening the state and America’s economic competitiveness and national security.”

The effort has been a priority for Gov. Henry McMaster and members of the state Legislature, with $15 million set aside as a one-time expenditure in the proposed budget, and $5 million in recurring support.

SC Nexus will spend its federal funding on four projects:

  • Building a simulator for testing the nation’s ability to protect its electric grid from hackers and cyber attacks. The simulator will cost $10 million and be operated by the Savannah River National Laboratory near Aiken.
  • $12.5 million worth of upgrades to an electric grid simulator operated by Clemson University. The simulator, located at the former U.S. Naval Base in North Charleston, can mimic the electric grid of any country in the world and is paired with testing equipment for wind-turbines. The effort will help improve renewable energy generation, such as wind and solar.
  • Building a pilot manufacturing line for batteries to be operated by the University of South Carolina. The $10.2 million manufacturing line will help researchers develop and produce longer-lasting, faster-charging batteries essential to the state’s growing electric vehicle industry. Better batteries are also needed to improve storage of power produced by solar panels and wind turbines for use when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.
  • $12.6 million for the SC Technical College System to encourage more people to work in energy-focused industries and develop coursework for training more workers in these fields. Teasdel said these will include mobile labs that can be brought to Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Orangeburg and Union counties, five economically challenged counties that the Nexus program is particularly focusing on.

The Department of Commerce will be setting up a division to oversee the Nexus projects, and will continue to seek additional funding. Two of the initially planned six projects did not receive federal grants, and those projects are being reviewed. At least one will not move forward as initially planned.

“This is just the beginning for us, and we’re excited about the growth potential, the economic competitiveness that we’re going to have and then have a really, really big hand in national security too,” Teasdel said.

The Department of Commerce did not have a total cost estimate for all six of the projects readily available on Tuesday.

“Out of hundreds of applications, our state was chosen as one of twelve tech hubs to receive funding to focus on the increasing energy demands and needs of our nation,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “Hats off to the South Carolina Department of Commerce and all those involved in putting this application together.”


Jessica Holdman writes about the economy, workforce and higher education. Before joining the SC Daily Gazette, she was a business reporter for The Post and Courier.

SC Daily Gazette is part of States Newsroom, the nation’s largest state-focused nonprofit news organization.


Abraham Kenmore is a reporter covering elections, health care and more. He joins the SC Daily Gazette from The Augusta Chronicle, where he reported on Georgia legislators, military and housing issues.

SC Daily Gazette is part of States Newsroom, the nation’s largest state-focused nonprofit news organization.