Construction has begun at two of the three solar facilities to be completed for one of the nation’s largest utility-sponsored community solar programs, says South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G). The 16-MW Community Solar Program was first unveiled in September 2016, and since then SCE&G has worked closely with Clean Energy Collective (CEC), a community solar solutions provider, to accelerate program development, enroll customers and build the local solar facilities.
Community solar sites in Jasper and Orangeburg counties began construction activities this month. A third site will be developed in Hampton County, next year. CEC is developing, constructing and operating the utility’s community solar portfolio.
“SCE&G launched the Community Solar Program as part of our commitment to provide customers greater access to clean energy and more choices for meeting their power needs, particularly for those who previously didn’t otherwise have a pathway to solar,” said Danny Kassis, vice president of customer relations and renewables for SCE&G. “Building these sites will get us even closer to realizing that vision.”
An alternative to rooftop solar, community solar gives SCE&G residential electric customers, schools, churches and municipalities the opportunity to purchase or subscribe to panels in local solar arrays, and receive monetary credit on their utility bills for the electricity those panels produce each month. Hundreds of SCE&G customers have signed up for the program, and both residential and nonresidential enrollments are now complete.
“We are proud to partner with SCE&G in making the benefits of solar energy available to so many more of their customers,” said Tom Sweeney, president of renewables at CEC. “Program enrollment launched about five months ago, and thanks to high customer demand for the financial and environmental benefits delivered by locally generated clean energy, available allocations have reached capacity.”
When all three arrays are operating, they will produce about 733,754 megawatt hours of reliable clean energy over the initial 20-year term – an estimated environmental equivalent of planting 2 million trees or avoiding more than 1.5 billion car miles.
— Solar Builder magazine