Dominion says that it plans to construct, own and operate 81 MW of solar generating capacity in Jasper County, S.C. Specifically, the company expects to bring two projects – a 71.4 MW facility that would be South Carolina’s largest and a 10 MW array – into service in 2017.
“Dominion is excited to work with a number of partners – including Solvay and South Carolina Electric & Gas [SCE&G] – not only to bring additional non-carbon-emitting solar generation to the power grid, but also to add to our South Carolina energy infrastructure portfolio,” says Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and CEO of Dominion. “We are proud of the work we are doing in South Carolina to help people, electric and gas distribution companies and industry access clean energy.”
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster adds, “Every time a company invests in our state, it shows a commitment to succeeding here, and that couldn’t be more important to our people. This investment represents the continuance of a lasting partnership between the state of South Carolina and Dominion.”
Dominion says its Solvay Solar Energy-Jasper County facility, located near Ridgeland, S.C., will occupy nearly 900 acres in Jasper County. SCE&G has signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) for the electricity produced at the facility. Solvay – an international chemicals and advanced materials company with U.S. sites, among others, in Charleston, Greenville, Piedmont, Rock Hill and Spartanburg – will purchase all of the associated renewable energy credits (RECs) for 15 years.
Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO of Solvay, says, “This new agreement will help us reduce our CO2 intensity – one of Solvay’s main sustainability goals. It enables the development of additional renewable energy capacity in a region where we have a significant presence and allows us to better serve customer expectations through sustainability.”
SCE&G has also signed a PPA on Dominion’s 10 MW Ridgeland Solar project, which is on about 80 acres in Ridgeland, and will retain the RECs.
“Utility-scale solar represents the least-cost approach to solar energy and provides clean energy for our state,” comments Danny Kassis, vice president of customer relations and renewable energy for SCE&G. “The Jasper County solar projects demonstrate the continuing emergence of solar energy as a resource that can supplement reliable, resilient and safe service that customers in South Carolina need to grow our economy.”
Dominion acquired the two developments from developer Adger Solar in November 2016. Mortenson, a national renewable energy company headquartered in Minneapolis, will serve as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor on the projects. Approximately 200 jobs are expected to be created during construction in 2017.
“Jasper County is showing South Carolina that large-scale solar can be built and sustained in all 46 counties across the Palmetto State,” says Bill Moore, principal of Adger Solar. “Adger Solar has been working in South Carolina since 2014, and we have over a half-dozen, large-scale solar projects under way. These projects will provide new jobs to the local communities, tax revenue to the counties, and clean power to the citizens and companies of this state.”
“South Carolina’s renewable energy sector continues to grow by leaps and bounds, providing energy to our citizens while protecting our beautiful natural resources. This new $100 million investment will make a big difference in the Lowcountry community, and we congratulate Jasper County on this great announcement,” adds Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.
These new developments would expand Dominion’s operating solar fleet to nine states and more than 1,500 MW by the end of this year. The company has developed and operates solar generation in neighboring North Carolina and Georgia. It also operates Columbia, S.C.-based Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission-regulated, 1,500-mile natural gas interstate transmission system with operations in Georgia and South Carolina, including Jasper County.