First solar farm begins operation in Berkeley County

Source: WCSC
Source: WCSC

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Berkeley County's first solar farm began operating this week. Cooper River Partners invested $2.7 million dollars into this project.

The panels sit on four-acres located at the former landfill site at the Charleston International Manufacturing Center at Bushy Park. 

Marc Fetten is the President and CEO of Cooper River Partners.

"It's an investment in green energy," Fetten said. "We are a very large consumer of power in Berkeley County and this is a big part of being green and sustainable."

The solar farm can produce about 1.4 Megawatts, which can power about 160 homes.

Danny Kassis is the Vice President of Customer Relations and Renewable Energy for SCE&G. He says it can impact the state.

"At the end of the day, cleaner air for Berkeley which is cleaner air for South Carolina," Kassis said.

This is how the solar farm works. Solar panels generate power from the sun and that energy is fed back to SCE&G's electricity grid. From there the power is distributed throughout the Charleston area.

"This is about creating a diverse mix of energy sources," Fetten said. "This becomes part of SCE&G's energy portfolio some of which is coal, some of which is gas, some of which is renewable sources such as this."

Berkeley County Supervisor, Bill Peagler, shares the benefits for the county's taxpayers.

"It increased the value of this property and produces more revenue for us with the savings that they are going to be having from  lowering costs of the electricity," Peagler said.  "Maybe they'll invest that in more employees or invest it more in Berkeley County."

Though the energy generated from this solar farm is about one tenth of the amount of energy used in Bushy Industrial Park, it's a move toward creating a cleaner environment.

The solar farm is the first announced economic development project in Berkeley county this year.

Cooper River Partners is working to have another solar farm completed later this year.

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