S.C. Utility to Phase Out Coal and Add 1 GW of Solar, 200 MW Battery Storage

  • On September 9, 2019, Santee Cooper, a South Carolina state-owned public utility, board of directors approved a business forecast that includes the phasing-out of coal power and a drastic increase in solar and storage power. Specifically, the forecast plans to phase out a coal-fired station entirely by 2027, add 1000 megawatts (“MW”) or 1 gigawatt of solar generation by 2024, and 200 MW of battery storage by 2028.

  • The plan will reduce reliance on coal by 40 percent, increase solar power from the utility by more than 500 percent, and, over the next 10 years, cut the utility’s carbon emission by about 30 percent. The utility plans to engage with Central Electric Power Cooperative under a coordination agreement supporting proposed generation.

POWERHOME Solar to Add Office and Up to 100 Employees in South Carolina

  • On September 9, 2019, POWERHOME Solar announced that it would expand operations into South Carolina. The company will open an office in the state and hire up to 100 employees. For residential and commercial customers, the company designs, sells, finances, permits, installs, and maintains solar power panels and systems.

  • This expansion comes after the Republican-majority South Carolina legislature in May 2019 unanimously passed a solar bill that, among other solar-friendly actions, lifted a two percent cap on all net metering, a crediting system for solar energy generators. The bill arrived after solar generation grew precipitously in South Carolina following the expensive failure of the V.C. Summer nuclear plant expansion. South Carolina currently has about 830.59 MW of solar generation installed, making it the 16th state for solar power in the nation, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. However, the ranking may rise in the future given the commercial and regulatory interest in growing the state’s solar power generation.

Fifth Third Bank to Offset 100% of Energy Use Through North Carolina Solar Project

  • Fifth Third Bancorp recently entered into a power purchase agreement to buy all of the power produced at a new solar power facility, called the Aulander Holloman Solar Facility, in Hertford County, North Carolina. The Aulander Holloman Solar Facility will generate enough clean power to offset all (or more) of the energy that Fifth Third Bank uses in one year.

  • According to reports, the opening of the new facility makes Fifth Third Bank the first Fortune 500 Company to become 100 percent dependent upon renewable energy generated from a single solar project.

Georgia Power Partners with Peachtree Corners to Open Curiosity Lab

  • Last week, the city of Peachtree Corners, GA officially opened the Curiosity Lab in Peachtree Corners, Georgia. Georgia Power has partnered with Peachtree Corners to develop the project. The Curiosity Lab stretches across a 1.5-mile corridor and is intended to test smart-city innovations. Most of the elements of the lab are related to transportation innovation and technology.

  • According to a press release, Georgia Power’s contributions to the lab include smart-LED street lights and cameras designed to provide complete video coverage of the area and to enhance traffic management software and analytics to provide real-time incident management and detection.