Solar industry advocates, green enthusiasts and environmental conservation groups are basking in the sun today.
Critics of solar technology advancements have gone to great lengths in the past to block such bills in the U.S. “Palmetto State,” including the state’s many utility companies. Since 2013, state legislators have had to make numerous changes to their original recommendations to craft a compromise bill that would receive unanimous approval.
Although the bill won’t completely stop fossil fuel usage by the state’s residents and power companies, it’s still considered a successful, much needed first step in a region known for majority support of traditional approaches to power generation.
According to “The State” newspaper, the blocks to this legislation were finally overcome because of the increasing general advance of solar programs around the country and a desire by power companies to recoup related costs.
If passed into the law by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, at least 2 percent of the average peak demand for power over five years must become solar generated by 2021. The bill also approves of third-party rooftop solar power leasing and raises the cap on the amount of nonresidential solar energy usage up to 1 megawatt.
The bill is expected to go through final House and Senate approvals later today.