Santee Cooper partnered with York Electric Cooperative to install a 2-kilowatt solar power system in Springfield Middle School as part of the utility’s Green Power Solar Schools program. The Green Power Solar Schools initiative is designed to encourage interest in electricity, and demonstrate the feasibility and limitations of renewable power generation. The solar photovoltaic power system provides a teaching, research and hands-on demonstration opportunity for the students there. A focus of the project is the use of a new renewable energy curriculum that meets the South Carolina state science standards, which makes this a unique dynamic learning opportunity.
This installation is one of 19 similar systems being installed at middle schools across South Carolina by Santee Cooper and The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina. Using Internet-based monitoring, students will be able to compare the energy performance at this site to the output of other sites. The solar equipment was purchased with funds from Santee Cooper Green Power subscribers, fulfilling a promise to use 100% of the proceeds for new renewable energy projects.
Clover Middle School will become our second local Green Power Solar School in 2013, joining Springfield Middle School. Statewide, Green Power purchases have helped fund almost two dozen Solar Schools in cooperative-served areas.
Like Springfield, Clover Middle will receive a two-kilowatt solar power system that will provide hands-on learning opportunities. Students will study a special renewable energy curriculum that meets S.C. science standards. These dynamic lessons empower our youth and energize our future.
Solar Power FAQ
Not at all. The sun’s energy is a great, clean resource which we should utilize.
Every year the cost of solar energy systems decrease. Even with these decreases, the cost justification is heavily dependent upon government tax credits. Presently payback ranges between 9 and 12 years, but this could change drastically if incentives were to increase or decrease.
Solar communities are groups of solar panels kept at one location. They offer members an opportunity to invest in solar energy without the cost, hassle, and installation of solar equipment on their home. The return on their investment is shown as a credit on their electric bill.
Members subscribe to the output from YEC’s community solar site for a 20-year period, choosing the number of kilowatt (kW) units for their subscription. One kW unit will produce approximately 150 kWh per month. You can add more kW units at any time, as long as they are available.
When energy production begins, you will receive a portion of the production from the solar community each month, based on the number of kW unit subscriptions on your account.
Members pay a portion of the cost per kW unit upfront, then a monthly subscription fee is charged as a line item on the electric bill. The correlating output of the subscribed kW units is credited back to the member at 10¢ per kWh. Members pay a one-time $30 administrative fee for participating in the program.
Subscriptions Upfront Charge: $100 per kW Monthly Unit Charge: $12 per kW subscription Monthly Credit: 10¢ per kWh One-time $30 administrative fee
Any YEC member in good standing may participate in the Community Solar program on a first come, first served basis. This excludes residential net metering and Advance Pay accounts.
Members are subscribing to the energy produced by the solar farm in relation to the number of kW units to which they subscribe.
The overall program term is 20 years. The minimum term participation is 2 years, and requires a 30-day notice of cancellation.
A member must subscribe to at least 1 kW unit, but cannot subscribe to more than 5 kW units.
YEC’s first community solar array will produce approximately 50 kW per month, which is roughly equivalent to the energy used by 7 average homes in YEC’s service area. However, it is important to note that solar production will vary from month to month based on weather and time of year.
While the cost of installing solar panels on a home varies greatly from house to house, YEC has attempted to keep the Community Solar pricing in line with the average cost of putting solar panels on a home.
Yes! If your subscription produces more energy than your home consumes in one month, you will see a credit on your account, regardless of the amount.
YEC will use tax credits associated with the Community Solar program which are figured into the program’s pricing.
If the community solar arrays are damaged during a storm, members will receive a proportionate share of the energy produced by any non-damaged panels while repairs are made.
If a Community Solar member moves from one home served by YEC to another home served by YEC, the solar energy subscription moves with the member.
If a member moves out of YEC’s service area, the subscription will terminate; the upfront charge paid upon beginning the program is not refundable.