Thursday, August 7, 2014
Governor Nikki Haley signed into law Wednesday the Distributed Energy Resource Program Act.
Haley was joined by Sen. Greg Gregory and representatives from the electric cooperatives, utilities and environmental organizations for a ceremonial signing of S.1189. The bill is a collaborative effort between lawmakers and stakeholders in the energy industry that allows South Carolinians more affordable access to solar energy for residential and business purposes.
“Breaking down barriers that prevent South Carolinians from having options is something we have been focused on from the start of our administration,” Haley said. “It’s an important part of making the quality of life in our state the best it can be.
“We’re celebrating today because this law breaks down barriers to solar energy access, making it easier for individuals and businesses to take advantage of the projects and opportunities that can cut costs and make energy usage more efficient.”
Under the new law, citizens will be able to take advantage of solar energy by leasing solar panels for their homes or businesses rather than paying for the relatively expensive installation involved with purchasing their own.
The bill also ensures that those who generate solar electricity receive a fairer price from utilities for the energy they sell back to the power grid.
“Debate on this bill began with utility industry officials and proponents of solar energy in a standoff,” Gregory said. “Over the course of the two-year session, though, they came together and worked tirelessly to construct a law that gives each side some of what they wanted, and all South Carolinians an opportunity for greater energy independence through expanded use of solar energy.”
“I think it is wonderful that Gov. Haley will recognize this landmark legislation and the job creation it brings,” said Grant Reeves, senior vice president of the InterTech Group. “In fact, with over $525 million of direct investment in solar energy projects over the next six years, Gov. Haley continues to demonstrate her leadership on job creation and policies that make the Palmetto State stand out.”
“This legislation is the result of a collaborative effort of South Carolinians to ‘prepare in mind’ to best manage our resources for the future,” said Keller Kissam, President of Retail Operations for SCE&G.