More Access to Solar for more South Carolinians as PSC Approves Utility Solar Incentive Programs
Charleston, S.C. — The Public Service Commission has approved solar incentive programs offered by South Carolina’s investor-owned utilities, a major step towards bringing affordable solar power to families and businesses across the Palmetto State.
The South Carolina Coastal Conservation League and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center, weighed in with other intervening parties on Distributed Energy Resource (DER) programs proposed by Duke Energy Progress, Duke Carolinas, and South Carolina Electric & Gas. The parties forged settlement agreements hammering out the details of the utilities’ offerings, and the Public Service Commission orders issued yesterday approve the utility programs as modified in the settlements.
“These programs open a brand new lane for major solar growth in South Carolina starting now,” said Southern Environmental Law Center attorney Blan Holman. “We appreciate the time and effort that the Public Service Commission and Office of Regulatory Staff invested in this process to make sure South Carolina is rolling out programs that deliver cheap solar for all segments of our State.”
“The utilities anticipate bringing nearly 100 MW of new large-scale solar capacity to South Carolina within the next few years–a big step forward for both renewable energy and local economic development,” said Kenneth Sercy from the Coastal Conservation League. “The conditions of the agreements will also encourage residential and commercial investments in small-scale solar capacity like rooftop solar, lowering costs for customers with more locally-produced energy at peak times.”
“The community solar component of the DER programs represents a huge area of growth for South Carolina, especially considering the rising interest we are seeing in these projects from utilities across the Southeast,” said Toni Nelson from Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “Now homes and businesses that are not able to install their own panels will have the opportunity to reap the benefits of cost-effective solar.”
Southern Environmental Law Center:
The Southern Environmental Law Center is a regional nonprofit using the power of the law to protect the health and environment of the Southeast (Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama). Founded in 1986, SELC's team of nearly 60 legal and policy experts represent more than 100 partner groups on issues of climate change and energy, air and water quality, forests, the coast and wetlands, transportation, and land use. www.SouthernEnvironment.org
Coastal Conservation League:
Since 1989, the Coastal Conservation League has been working with communities, businesses, other conservation and citizen groups to protect what we love about the South Carolina coast. From the white sand beaches and pristine marshes to the freshwater swamps and pine savannahs, we focus on the most efficient and effective ways to protect natural habitats, the wildlife that depends on them and the variety of benefits they bring to this state. We also believe that the communities we live in, the air we breathe and the water we depend upon are important and that our quality of life deserves the same high level of attention. To learn more, go to www.scccl.org.
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy:
Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that work to address the impacts of Global Climate Change and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org