The number of solar panels in South Carolina is set to increase expanding access to solar energy. On Thursday South Carolina Electric & Gas announced a partnership with Clean Energy Collective (CEC) to provide individuals in South Carolina with new ways to access solar energy.
Some people in South Carolina currently harness solar energy using rooftop solar panels however that is only an option for customers whose houses are in direct sunlight and close enough to an electrical grid to return the power to SCE&G.
The new partnership with CEC looks to fix those issues and expand solar energy beyond rooftop solar by building community solar arrays on top of old landfills or unwanted property. SCE&G customers can then lease or purchase solar panels on the solar array instead of putting the panels on their roof and receive credit for solar generation on their energy bills each month
“For some, rooftop solar is a good resource, but for those in this market looking for another option – including home owners, renters, churches, schools, and municipalities – community solar can be a great alternative,” said Danny Kassis, Vice President of Customer Relations and Renewables for SCE&G.
In addition to expanding the access of solar energy, the Clean Energy Collective also looks for this partnership to increase the efficiency of those already harnessing the sun’s power.
“The advantage of community solar is that it does produce more energy than rooftop solar. It is professionally maintained and designed for that purpose,” said Clean Energy Collective spokesman Tim Braun.
The next step in the partnership between SCE&G and Clean Energy Solar is to find locations in South Carolina to put the solar arrays. Braun says Clean Energy Collective prefers to build solar farms on, “property that is otherwise unusable, brown fields and those types of things that aren’t really good for other types of development.” Braun says that these sites often end up being near industrial or commercial districts where there is an immediate need for the energy collected from the array.
Braun says that Clean Energy Solar is hopeful that interested individuals can receive solar energy at their homes, “either later this year or early next year.”