Lowcountry gets first community solar farm

JASPER COUNTY, Sc. (WSAV) – When the sun’s shining, a very subtle buzz can be heard from behind the trees off 278 Highway and New River Parkway. It’s the sound of the Lowcountry’s first community solar farm.

“We have essentially doubled the amount of solar that Palmetto Electric has on our grid, so we have in 45 rooftop systems the equivalent of what we’ve just built with these two community solar sites,” said  Bob Casavant the engineer services manager with Palmetto Electric Cooperative.

For those of us that can’t afford our own solar rooftops, this is Palmetto Electric’s Solution.

“Every year, we have members call us about solar, wanting to put solar on their houses, and it’s very expensive,” said Parrish Neville with Palmetto Electric, “We wanted to give our members an option to experience solar without all the headaches.”

With sites in Ridgeland and Hardeeville, the cooperative collects energy from the sun and adds it to their grid for distribution in Hampton, Beaufort and Jasper counties.

“You’re paying an ongoing $13 dollar share per share fee and then you’re getting whatever the output is. Some months it’ll be a lot better than other months, depending on the weather,” said Neville.

For the month of February, shareholders at the Ridgeland solar farm received a $16 dollar credit on their electric bills. But South Carolina Senator Tom Davis says the profit goes far beyond that.

What consumers really want here especially in the Lowcountry is a sustainable means of energy supply that’s easy on the environment,” said Davis, “Hopefully we can be a model for the rest of the state.”

Neville said although the shares are sold out for now, they have started a waiting list for when spots open up.

You can visit their website to sign up.


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