- The final settlement between Duke Energy and South Carolina solar advocates was unanimously approved by the state's Public Service Commission (PSC), allowing Duke to proceed with plans for $69 million in South Carolina solar development.
- While North Carolina electricity politics have been tense, and future policy uncertain for months, solar developers are beginning to seek opportunity under the more predictable market set up by South Carolina’s new Act 236. That act lays out a clear course for solar and is based on a compromise with the state's utilities on third party ownership and net metering.
- Duke’s Carolinas and Progress entities, South Carolina Electric & Gas, and Santee Cooper have all reached PSC-approved agreements with advocacy groups and are stepping up development. Duke announced a request for proposals from solar developers of 40 MW of new utility-scale solar capacity, in projects of between 1 MW and 10 MW, for its Carolinas entity and 13 MW for its Progress entity.
The PSC-approved mandates are for further collaboration between stakeholders on expanding the solar program to low-income customers, developing rules for affordable community solar, and implementing rebates of $1 per watt for customers who install rooftop solar.
The PSC-approved agreements on implementing Act 236 were worked out between the utilities, PSC staff, the S.C. Coastal Conservation League, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, The Alliance for Solar Choice, and other stakeholders.
Act 236 established the legality of third party ownership (TPO) of rooftop solar in South Carolina, something still at issue in North Carolina. It also required South Carolina utilities to get 2% of their 5-year rolling peak load average from renewables by the end of 2020 and half of that must be distributed renewables. Finally, it required regulators to approve a Value of Solar (VOS) methodology. Many stakeholders say the hard work of reaching agreement on that remains.