SCE and G have introduced South Carolina's largest community solar program (16 MWac), making solar generation available to electric customers who cannot, or do not wish to, install rooftop solar panels. Through the SCE and G Community Solar Program, residential customers and eligible nonresidential customers may now purchase or subscribe to solar panels at several solar facilities to be constructed within SCE and G's service territory.
In exchange for the electricity produced by their panels, participants will receive credits on their monthly utility bills there by lowering their monthly expenses. The program is available to residential electric customers who own or rent their homes, and to schools, churches and municipalities.
"We often hear from customers who desire the cost savings and environmental benefits of solar energy, so we're really proud to bring those advantages to even more customers," said Danny Kassis, vice president of customer service and renewables for SCE and G. "For some customers, this program creates a pathway to solar energy where there wasn't one before."
SCE and G chose Clean Energy Collective (CEC), a national leader in community solar programs, and their Roofless Solar product, to implement its program. SCE and G expects to interconnect the first two of three CEC-developed solar facilities by the end of this year.
As part of their community solar solution - Community Solar Platform- CEC will facilitate customer enrollment and provide monitoring and production tracking services. The solar facilities will use panels that track the sun's path across the sky, increasing power generation up to 20 percent more than traditional fixed or rooftop systems. SCE and G is responsible for all maintenance of the sites.
"One of the largest utility-sponsored programs in the country, SCE and G's Community Solar Program demonstrates SCE and G's commitment to providing customers a choice in how they meet their power needs, and the growing renewable energy movement in South Carolina," said Paul Spencer, chief executive officer of Clean Energy Collective. "We are proud to be working with SCE and G to bring community solar to South Carolina on a large scale."
SCE and G played a key role in developing the 2014 South Carolina Distributed Energy Resource Program Act, which established equitable net metering rules, introduced distributed energy programs and allowed customers access to solar leasing options.
SCE and G energized its first utility-scale solar facility in December 2015 and has announced additional developments that will help the utility exceed its goal of generating at least 42 megawatts (MW) of utility-scale solar by 2020. SCE and G also provides customer programs to support the development of more than 42 MW of customer-scale solar generation by 2020, and already has interconnected more than 4,000 of its customers.