Future is bright for solar energy in South Carolina after Energy Freedom Act

Future is bright for solar energy in South Carolina after Energy Freedom Act

RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - Like most South Carolinians this summer, Matt Freed and his family will crank up their A-C to stay cool.

Their power bill won’t be anywhere near as a high as it was this time last year. “I think people like the idea and like being able to generate most of their own power,” he said.

Freed made the switch to solar energy a few months ago. He said he wanted to reduce his carbon footprint and slash his monthly power bill. Especially after the VC Summer debacle. According to officials, South Carolina has one of the highest power rates in the country.

Freed said his bill has reduced dramatically. “For at least two months now, I’ve had no electricity charges minus the facility fee you’re going to pay no matter what.”

Solar companies said they will see an increase in the number of customers, all thanks to the Energy Freedom Act that was signed into law earlier this year.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, companies have installed 18,000 solar systems in South Carolina. Over the next year five years, they predict 22,000 new systems will be installed.

Solar companies said the new law removed caps on net metering and leasing, which means more customers will be incentivized to put solar on their roofs at their homes and businesses.

Freed said he watched very closely what happened with the Energy Freedom Act this year. “I’d like to think we’ll continue to see the state be forward-thinking when it comes to energy usage and to keep enacting policies that support that.”

Earlier this month, North Carolina based Pine Gate Renewables announced they will construct one of the largest solar sites in the state in Orangeburg County. The 101-megawatt project is set to be completed in 2020.

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