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Santee Cooper Board approves solar incentive package


Includes rooftop panel rebate, community solar program and additional credit for excess customer generation

10/16/2015

<p>The 3-MW Colleton Solar Farm near Walterboro is comprised of 10,010 solar panels. (Photo by Jim Huff/Santee Cooper)</p>

The 3-MW Colleton Solar Farm near Walterboro is comprised of 10,010 solar panels. (Photo by Jim Huff/Santee Cooper)

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. — Santee Cooper customers interested in purchasing or leasing rooftop solar panels or buying into a community solar program will benefit under a comprehensive incentive package approved today by the Santee Cooper Board of Directors.

The incentive package focuses on three areas:

  • Rebates: Up-front rebates of 65 cents per watt to help residential and commercial customers who want to purchase panels for their homes or businesses or buy into a Santee Cooper community solar project, subject to an annual cap on total rebate dollars extended.
  • Energy Credit: An additional energy credit of 3 cents/kWh of excess electricity residential rooftop solar customers generate and provide to Santee Cooper. The credit is in addition to the nearly 4 cents/kWh credit already included in a Distributed Generation Rider approved by the board in August, and limited to the first 500 residential customers who sign up.
  • Community Solar: Establishing Santee Cooper's first community solar project by letting customers subscribe to its Colleton Solar Farm — South Carolina's largest solar farm. Community solar extends similar access and benefits as rooftop solar to customers who cannot install panels on their own rooftops. Santee Cooper plans to use Santee Cooper Green Power funds to seed future community solar projects once the Colleton project is fully subscribed.

"Santee Cooper was the first utility in South Carolina to put solar power on the grid, back in 2006, and our Green Power program has grown significantly through voluntary customer support since its 2001 debut," said Lonnie Carter, Santee Cooper president and CEO. "We have also helped customers conserve electricity voluntarily through our rebate-centered Reduce The Use programs.

"Today's board vote builds on our success developing programs through rebates and other incentives outside of our low electric rates," Carter continued. "It is a tried and true approach for Santee Cooper, and we expect similar wins for our new solar initiatives."

The board action authorizes Santee Cooper management to finalize terms and conditions for the program, which is expected to be available to customers by early 2016. The incentive package is approved for three years and is subject to expansion depending on customer response.

Santee Cooper is South Carolina's largest power provider, the largest Green Power generator and the ultimate source of electricity for 2 million people across the state. Through its low-cost, reliable and environmentally responsible electricity and water services, and through innovative partnerships and initiatives that attract and retain industry and jobs, Santee Cooper powers South Carolina. To learn more, visit www.santeecooper.com