Accelerating its status in solar power initiatives to the nation’s top 20 percent, South Carolina ranked ninth out of all U.S. states in 2016, a significant leap from its previous standing as 36th.
GTM Research, a market analysis firm observing changes in the global electricity industry based in Boston, New York and San Francisco, placed South Carolina in the nation’s top 10 states for solar power installations during the year.
South Carolina’s Department of Commerce revealed numerous statewide solar-based economic developments in 2016. Two Clarendon County solar farms along with projects in Allendale, Lexington and Saluda counties obtained investments totaling $327 million from Adger Solar, National Renewable Energy Corp. and Cypress Creek Renewables.
Additionally, a Spartanburg revitalization project earned kudos from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which stated that the project “will bring jobs and a source of clean energy [to] power almost 500 homes in the surrounding neighborhood.”
GTM reported that solar represented 26 percent of the nation’s new electric systems last year; according to a recent Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) quarterly report, U.S. Solar Market Insight, the solar power industry is anticipated to increase exponentially in the near future.
“With more than 1 million residential solar installations nationwide and record-breaking growth in the utility-scale sector, the industry is poised to nearly double year-over-year,” SEIA said, adding that the nation’s solar industry data recently “shattered all previous quarterly solar photovoltaic installation records.”