Coalition Releases '100 Day Clean Energy Agenda' For South Carolina

Solar industry groups, conservation organizations and other clean energy advocates have come up with a “100 Day Clean Energy Agenda” for South Carolina.

The agenda calls on state lawmakers to pass a suite of policies in the first 100 days of 2019 that will inject competition into South Carolina’s energy sector. The campaign will include over 750,000 contacts across key legislative districts in every region of the state in order to stress the need for legislative action by April 10, the 100th day of the year.

The groups, stressing the urgency to act now, state that millions of dollars of private investment for large-scale solar projects lack the certainty needed to bring them to completion. Most notably, solar net metering programs are due to expire in mid-March in the upstate and in mid-2019 for most other areas of the state, eliminating the ability of customers to reduce their energy bills by going solar and putting hundreds of jobs at risk, the groups say.

The 100 Day Clean Energy Agenda includes the following policies:

  • Eliminating the net metering cap for residential solar;
  • Ensuring fair and transparent rates for both residential and large-scale solar;
  • Allowing businesses to contract directly with independent clean power providers;
  • Ensuring fair and timely contracts for large-scale solar providers; and
  • Making solar available and accessible to all South Carolinians, regardless of income.

Groups supporting the 100 Day Clean Energy Agenda include the Conservation Voters of South Carolina, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the Coastal Conservation League, the SC Solar Business Alliance, the Southern Environmental Law Center, Southern Current, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Sunrun, Vote Solar, EDP Renewables, Upstate Forever, The Alliance for Solar Choice, Audubon South Carolina and National Audubon Society, Palmetto Clean Tech, the SC Chapter of the Sierra Club, and Cypress Creek Renewables. More groups are anticipated to join the effort as the campaign gets under way.

“These companies and organizations represent tens of thousands of South Carolina voters who care about clean energy and nearly 3,000 solar industry workers who make a living because of our clean energy economy,” says Sean Gallagher, SEIA’s vice president of state affairs. “By working together, we can advance this 100 Day Agenda for the benefit of both ratepayers and the South Carolina economy.”

With the rollout of the agenda, the groups announced an aggressive campaign to support their call to action. The integrated campaign includes a collective 750,000 direct mail, digital and door-to-door contacts to educate South Carolinians on the benefits of solar.

“South Carolina cannot afford to wait any longer for clear and decisive action on clean energy,” says State Rep. Peter McCoy, R-Charleston. “Over 3,000 well-paying South Carolina solar jobs and billions in private investment rely on addressing the near-term threats to solar growth.”

“Utility monopolies have written South Carolina’s energy policy for too long,” adds State Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort. “It is time to break the utility stranglehold and allow energy competition in the residential and corporate sectors while allowing large-scale solar providers to compete to put low-cost energy on the grid. More competition means lower costs, which means lower bills. It just makes sense.”

Source: Solar Industry by Betsy Lillian
Date: Jan 3, 2019