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South Carolina Solar Development Analysis

Updated: Jun 10


As of August 2023, South Carolina has 108 solar farms already operating with a current capacity of 1,503 MW and a current electricity generation of 159,167 MWh. South Carolina has a significant amount of operating solar farms compared to the other states in the US, and it has a development of solar farms with 5 solar farms under construction of 10 MW capacity total, 25 planned solar farms with 1,638 MW1 capacity, as well as 3 Utility-Scale Queued projects and 2 site control projects. Overall, if all planned and under construction farms go into operating status, South Carolina will expand its capacity by 1,647 MW. That’s a 109% growth in capacity for the state.   In South Carolina, the average solar farm size is 116.1 acres producing 13.9 MW of electricity under ideal conditions. So a solar farm in South Carolina needs an average of 8.3 acres per MW of capacity.    Utility Scale Solar Vs Community Solar Utility-scale solar refers to solar farms often created and managed by utilities, independent power producers, or energy firms. These projects aim to produce electricity on a large scale and deliver it directly into the distribution grid. These solar farms generally have more than 10 MW in capacity. Contrarily, community-scale solar refers to smaller-scale solar power facilities, under 10 MW, that are primarily intended to serve local communities or particular user groups. Below is a breakdown of the different types of solar farms and their development statuses.  Utility Scale  South Carolina is a state for solar development where Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, and Santee Cooper are the main utilities.   A project in queue means that the project enters the interconnection queue of that region waiting for regulatory approval. During this period, the analysis of possible engineering and land factors is conducted to determine the feasibility of the project to be constructed and connected to the grid. The average amount of time it takes for a farm to go from queue to operational in South Carolina is 23 Months. As per the Santee Cooper Generator Interconnection Queue, South Carolina has seen 76 solar farms added into the queue since 2019, totalling 5.5 GW in capacity.


By August 2023, South Carolina had 108 operational solar farms, boasting a total capacity of 1,503 MW and generating 159,167 MWh of electricity. The state stands out for its substantial number of solar farms in comparison to other U.S. states. Additionally, South Carolina is actively developing its solar energy sector, with 5 solar farms currently under construction with a combined capacity of 10 MW, 25 planned solar farms with a total capacity of 1,638 MW, along with 3 Utility-Scale Queued projects and 2 site control projects. Upon completion of all planned and under-construction farms, South Carolina's capacity is set to increase by 1,648 MW, representing a remarkable 110% growth in capacity for the state.


The average size of a solar farm in South Carolina is 116.1 acres, generating 13.9 MW of electricity under optimal conditions. This means that, on average, a solar farm in South Carolina requires 8.3 acres per MW of capacity.




Utility Scale Solar Vs Community Solar in South Carolina


Utility-scale solar refers to solar farms often created and managed by utilities, independent power producers, or energy firms. These projects aim to produce electricity on a large scale and deliver it directly into the distribution grid. These solar farms generally have more than 10 MW in capacity. Contrarily, community-scale solar refers to smaller-scale solar power facilities, under 10 MW, that are primarily intended to serve local communities or particular user groups. Below is a breakdown of the different types of solar farms and their development statuses. 

 

In South Carolina Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, and Santee Cooper are the main utilities.


A project in queue means that the project enters the interconnection queue of that region waiting for regulatory approval. During this period, the analysis of possible engineering and land factors is conducted to determine the feasibility of the project to be constructed and connected to the grid. The average amount of time it takes for a farm to go from queue to operational in South Carolina is 23 Months. As per the Santee Cooper Generator Interconnection Queue, South Carolina has seen 76 solar farms added into the queue since 2019, totaling 5.5 GW in capacity.



 


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