News | December 18, 2014

South Carolina solar settlement generates buzz in energy field

What’s the talk of the energy world right now? It’s a deal SELC sealed with South Carolina utilities on December 11 to ensure that customers who invest in solar power will receive full retail credit for any electricity that flows back onto the grid. That’s according to a Dec. 16 story from EnergyWire, a daily report from E&E Publishing. In addition to generating buzz in the energy industry, the “net metering” agreement is a giant step forward in implementing landmark solar legislation South Carolina passed this year that SELC and other stakeholders helped draft.

In addition to being able sell back power at the full retail price, solar-producing businesses and households will avoid for at least six years any solar-specific fees or tariffs. Electric utilities can seek recovery of lost revenue and other costs through proceedings before the state’s Public Service Commission. “The policy is significant for many reasons,” reports EnergyWire. “It kick-starts the nearly nonexistent rooftop solar market in South Carolina by making such projects more economical. … The policy also helps prevent fears over the utility ‘death spiral,’ or a continual loss of revenues as more residents and businesses turn to solar to get some of their electricity.” SELC represented the Coastal Conservation League and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy in the settlement negotiations.