Dominion Energy has significantly increased South Carolina’s solar capacity with the commissioning of the 71 MW Solvay Solar Energy-Jasper County solar project, the largest in the state to date.
Such a project might not be a big deal in California or Arizona. However, according to the Solar Energy Industries’ Association’s latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report, the state had only installed 265 MW by the end of 2016.
Dominion brought the Solvay plant online four days before Christmas, with a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with South Carolina Electric and Gas (SCE&G). International chemical conglomerate Solvay, which has five locations in South Carolina, will buy the associated renewable energy credits (RECs) for 15 years.
“Dominion Energy is pleased to bring this additional clean, solar energy to South Carolina,” said Paul D. Koonce, president and chief executive officer of the company’s Power Generation Group. “We are happy to provide South Carolina Electric & Gas additional renewable resources and help a corporate citizen in Solvay reduce its carbon intensity.”
Dominion previously commissioned a 10 MW solar project in May. That project also has both a PPA and REC agreement with SCE&G. Dominion says it commissioned 466 MW of solar generating capacity in 2017 in California, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, investing more than $900 million in those projects.
At press time, it was unclear how much of the South Carolina projects were driven by the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA), a law that has been a key driver in solar development in neighboring North Carolina.