South Carolina’s solar power future is looking very bright.
South Carolina’s solar power future is looking very bright, thanks to the continued development of initiatives and new approaches to producing solar energy for consumers. We’ve touched on the trend of residential solar Charleston, but it’s not the only southern city making waves from its solar energy efforts. The state’s capital recently demonstrated its solar advocacy by installing solar panels on the building of its S.C. Small Business Chamber of Commerce. The system is made up of 36 solar panels and is expected to save up to $2,525 per year for the 5,500-square-foot building.
“If we don’t do something to get a handle on climate change, the end result is going to be much higher levels of sea, and we can’t afford that,” said the organization’s President and CEO, Frank Knapp Jr.“If we don’t control that, our tourism industry is going to suffer. Our economy is then going to suffer. This is really being proactive. This is accepting science and saying we need to do something now.”
“It will accrue to the benefit of everybody,” Knapp said. “The utility company will have less stress on their infrastructure, including the grid. The businesses in the long run will save money. It will help all of us to address climate change. It is a win-win-win.”
With powerful advocates, such as Knapp, hopefully more South Carolina residents are motivated to consider generating their own solar energy. There are lots of reasons why South Carolina is a great state for solar power.
Rebates and Incentives
South Carolina is one of the lucky states with its own solar energy tax credit. Businesses and homeowners that install solar panels on its building can claim a tax credit of 25 percent of the total installation costs. Add that to the federal solar tax credit of 30 percent, and you’ve got a heck of a lot of incentives for solar.
Net Metering Policy
The South Carolina net metering cap at which home solar panel users can sell excess energy back to the grid has increased from 100 kilowatt to one megawatt. Meaning that users can sell even more power back to the utility for a 1 – for – 1 rate, often times at a profit.
Since 2014, consumers have also been able to take advantage of the Distributed Energy Resource Program. This allows solar leasing, an option that is helpful to many homeowners who wish to use solar energy but prefer to not own the system itself. Solar leasing allows users to have panels installed on their homes and purchase the power generated from that system, typically at a lower cost than fossil fuel electricity.
Introducing: Solar Power Co-ops
Another exciting step taken by South Carolinians is a new solar initiative through cooperatives. About 1.3 million consumers are now receiving solar power through community solar farms, making this a perfect solution for households that can’t install panels because they don’t own their homes or can’t afford to pay for a system themselves. This is basically a sweet spot between utility-scale and rooftop solar. The enthusiasm for projects such as these co-ops is a demonstrated step in the right direction. Go South Carolina!
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