Powering city buildings through solar energy

Published: Aug. 8, 2017 at 7:29 PM EDT
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Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017 / News 12 First at Five

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) – For the next 20 years, North Augusta will be solar powered.

Resident Matt Creech is excited.

“I’ve always loved the idea of that green technology, more efficient. Just better for the environment,” said Creech.

The North Augusta City Council voted to approve an initiative to partner with South Carolina Electric and Gas.

“Financially, you immediately see the results on your bill where you’re not being charged for electricity,” said Creech.

North Augusta will draw power from one of several “solar farms” that SCE&G is building.

“A certain amount of the solar capacity at one of these farms in dedicated to the city,” said city leader Fletcher Dickert.

Councilman Dickert says the city will still use more power than what is being provided through solar farms, but the addition of alternative energy will still save in the long run.

“We’re gonna see a significant savings in our power bill every month to SCE&G,” said Dickert.

The deal almost had officials wondering what the catch was.

“It sounded like it was almost too good to be true,” said North Augusta Mayor Bob Pettit.

“We have to do nothing other than sign up and say we’re going to be a part of it for 20 years,” said Dickert.

According to the plan, solar energy will save the city thousands even in its first year. More importantly, though, it will diminish the city’s carbon footprint by nearly 275 million pounds.

Neighbors will also have the option to opt-in to the solar program, a process that is ongoing. Creech has already installed panels and is thrilled with what he calls the future of energy.

"I think it's brilliant. I think the technology is to the point where it’s cost effective even if you were only looking for cost savings. And the fact that they're environmentally friendly is just a bonus,” said Creech.

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