Solar in South Carolina
Solar in South Carolina is growing: According to the US Energy Information Administration, the amount of large-scale solar increased 20-fold in 2017.
The Energy Freedom Act of 2019 removes some obstacles to solar growth in South Carolina. Net metering for rooftop solar is no longer capped at 2% of power generated. Large-scale solar farms face fewer headwinds in the market. But many of the key implementation decisions now lie at the Public Service Commission where we will continue to advocate for clean energy.
The Conservation League has led on solar in South Carolina, notably with the passage of Act 236, the Distributed Energy Resources Act, in 2014 that set the stage for the growth of solar energy in South Carolina, and we were proud to be part of the team that advanced the Energy Freedom Act.
South Carolina’s electricity sector generates the most air pollution of any economic sector. Burning fossil fuels for electricity in South Carolina imposes an especially strong burden on the coastal plain. All the state’s five coal-burning power plants are on the coast, and much of the natural gas infrastructure sits on the coast, meaning mercury in our rivers, smog and soot in our air, and transmission infrastructure that cuts across farms and wetlands.
Increasing the use of renewable energy sources like solar combined with battery storage, and controlling demand growth through energy efficiency programs, allows South Carolina utilities to run coal and gas plants less, reducing the amount of pollution going into our air and water.
Here’s more information on the solar programs available in South Carolina.