The solar industry continues to take off in South Carolina. Dominion Power announced that it plans to construct, own and operate 81 megawatts (AC) of solar generating capacity in Jasper County, S.C. These two projects – a 71.4-megawatt facility that would be South Carolina’s largest and a 10-megawatt array – are expected to enter service in 2017.
“Dominion is excited to work with a number of partners – including Solvay and South Carolina Gas & Electric – not only to bring additional non-carbon-emitting solar generation to the power grid but also to add to our South Carolina energy infrastructure portfolio,” said Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Dominion. “We are proud of the work we are doing in South Carolina to help people, electric and gas distribution companies and industry access clean energy.”
“Every time a company invests in our state, it shows a commitment to succeeding here, and that couldn’t be more important to our people,” said South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster.”This investment represents the continuance of a lasting partnership between the State of South Carolina and Dominion.”
Dominion’s Solvay Solar Energy-Jasper County, S.C., facility, located near Ridgeland, S.C., will occupy nearly 900 acres in Jasper County. South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) has signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) for the electricity produced at the facility. Solvay – an international chemicals and advanced materials company with U.S. sites, among others, in Charleston, Greenville, Piedmont, Rock Hill and Spartanburg – will purchase all of the associated renewable energy credits (RECs) for 15 years. Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, chief executive officer of Solvay, said, “This new agreement will help us reduce our CO2 intensity, one of Solvay’s main sustainability goals. It enables the development of additional renewable energy capacity in a region where we have a significant presence and allows us to better serve customer expectations through sustainability.”
SCE&G has also signed a PPA on Dominion’s 10-megawatt Ridgeland Solar project, on about 80 acres in Ridgeland, S.C., and will retain the RECs. “SCE&G is excited to be part of building a clean energy future for South Carolina,” said Danny Kassis, vice president of Customer Relations and Renewable Energy for SCE&G. “Utility-scale solar represents the least-cost approach to solar energy and provides clean energy for our state. The Jasper County solar projects demonstrate the continuing emergence of solar energy as a resource that can supplement reliable, resilient, and safe service that customers in South Carolina need to grow our economy.”
Dominion acquired the two developments from developer Adger Solar in November 2016. Mortenson, a leading national renewable energy company headquartered in Minneapolis, will serve as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor on the projects. Approximately 200 jobs are expected to be created during construction in 2017.
“Jasper County is showing South Carolina that large-scale solar can be built and sustained in all 46 counties across the Palmetto State,” said Bill Moore, principal of Adger Solar. “Adger Solar has been working in South Carolina since 2014 and we have over a half-dozen large-scale solar projects underway. These projects will provide new jobs to the local communities, tax revenue to the counties and clean power to the citizens and companies of this state. We are pleased to be part of the emerging solar energy industry during this exciting time in South Carolina.”
“South Carolina’s renewable energy sector continues to grow by leaps and bounds, providing energy to our citizens while protecting our beautiful natural resources. This new $100 million investment will make a big difference in the Lowcountry community, and we congratulate Jasper County on this great announcement,” said SC Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.
The developments announced would expand Dominion’s operating solar fleet to nine states and more than 1,500 megawatts by the end of this year. The company has developed and operates solar generation in neighboring North Carolina and Georgia. It also operates Columbia, S.C.-based Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission-regulated, 1,500-mile natural gas interstate transmission system with operations in Georgia and South Carolina – including in Jasper County.