South Carolina Solar Energy Facts

South Carolina solar energy installations are expected to grow strong in 2018 thanks to rising power costs and growing demand from home and business owners across the Southeast. Scroll down to read up on the latest South Carolina solar energy facts.

South Carolina Solar Facts

There are currently more than 69 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in South Carolina, employing 2,829 people

The state of South Carolina solar tax credit offers a 25% tax credit for home and business owners who go solar.

The 510.5 MW of solar energy currently installed in South Carolina ranks the state 18th in the country in installed solar capacity.  There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 5,500 homes.

More than $766.81 million has been invested in solar power in South Carolina

Several large retailers in South Carolina have gone solar. Boeing has installed one of the largest corporate photovoltaic systems in the state with 2.6 MW of solar capacity at their location in North Charleston.

Clemson University’s local Target store now has over 2,000 solar panels on its roof thanks to an installation by Southern Current.











Retail company Target has 425 solar installs on company roofs across America including a number of store locations in South Carolina.

Click to learn about Target’s commercial solar panel install in Anderson.

Benefits of more solar energy in South Carolina

  • Saving money on your electric bill
  • Enjoying reliable, clean power for 25 to 30 years
  • Helping to boost the state’s economy by creating jobs and new solar companies

Solar energy in South Carolina generates clean, renewable energy. Unlike fossil fuels, there are no carbon emissions or other dangerous pollutants from solar. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates the average American home emits approximately 10.97 metric tons of CO2 per year due to energy usage.

Related: Environmental Benefits Of Solar Power In South Carolina

South Carolina Solar Installations Map











Click to view nearby home solar panel installations in South Carolina!

Learn More About Solar Power In South Carolina

Southern Current is proud to be one of the top Solar Installers in the Southeast, with specialties in residential solar for homes, commercial solar for businesses, and utility-scale solar farms for property owners and utilities. Schedule a solar consultation today to receive a free analysis of how much money you could be saving with a solar! Don’t wait – Summer power bills are coming soon!

Data for this article was collected from the following links:

The Cost Of Going Solar In South Carolina

Looking for an answer to how much does it cost to go solar in South Carolina? Charleston-based Southern Current is proud to be a leading solar installer in the state, with services available throughout the southeast. Contact Us to receive a cost estimate for installing solar at your location.

Here’s what you need to know about the price of solar panel systems in the Palmetto State.

Understanding The Price For A Solar Power Install In South Carolina

For most homeowners in South Carolina, the average solar panel installation will pay for itself in 7 years. That is to say that the length of time it takes for a solar install to produce energy equal to the financial equivalent of how much it costs to install is about 7 years. Payback period is also referred to as return on investment (ROI).

How did we get to the 7 year ROI figure for a home solar install? Our calculations are below.

A standard roof-mounted 8 kW solar energy system will produce approximately $1,594 dollars in energy each year. This assumes a $0.14/kWh value based on costs from SCE&G.

Average Cost Of Going Solar In South Carolina

Using a cost of $3.25/watt we have a gross cost of $26,000 for an 8 kW solar install.

A 30% Federal tax credit is available for solar installs until the end of 2019. 30% of $26,000 equals $7,800, and we can deduct this from the gross cost since the tax credit is money you receive from the federal government on your income taxes. $26,000 – $7,800 = $19,600

A 25% South Carolina tax credit is also available for solar installs. 25% of $26,000 is $6,500 dollars. And just like the Federal tax credit, we can deduct the SC solar tax credit from our gross cost. $26,000 – $7,800 – $6,500 = $11,700

So your net cost for an 8 kW solar system in South Carolina, that is the cost after federal and state tax credits, is just $11,700 dollars.

And as we said before, the financial value of the energy produced by an 8 kW solar panel system in 1 year is equal to approximately $1,594 dollars.

$11,700 dollars net cost / $1,594 dollars worth of energy produced each year = 7.34 years, or 7 years and 4 months until the solar panel installation pays for itself.

Final Notes On South Carolina Solar Costs

A solar panel system can be designed to offset 100% of your annual electricity costs. Instead of paying the local utility for power, you can generate your own electricity from solar panels. Going solar allows you to be energy independent and save money. The above example for an 8 kW solar panel install is an average system, but you may need more or less panels depending on your energy usage and habits.


View of Pelzer, South Carolina residential solar project installed by Southern Current.


Financing is available. You might be wondering, “How the heck do people afford to go solar?” Most people don’t have an extra $10 to $20k sitting in a savings account for a rainy day. Instead, the solar industry has gotten creative in designing finance packages that allow homeowners like you to go solar for $0 Down. Use the energy savings from your new solar power system to pay for the project over time, and save money each month.

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Southern Current is proud to be one of the top Solar Installers in the Southeast, with specialties in residential solar for homes, commercial solar for businesses, and utility-scale solar farms for property owners and utilities. Schedule a solar consultation today to receive a free analysis of how much money you could be saving with a solar panel installation! Don’t wait – Summer power bills are coming soon!

Switching To Solar In South Carolina

The hardest part of doing something new is taking the first step. So to help you understand how easy it is to save with a solar panel installation on your South Carolina home, below we’ve compiled some reviews from customers who have already made the switch.

South Carolinians Discuss Their Experiences Switching To Solar

“The cost of electricity from SCE&G is high and climbing, which made going solar an easy decision. In the long run, this solar power system will save me thousands of dollars. The environmental impact of burning fossil fuels was also part of our decision. A clean environment is important to us.” – Charleston homeowner Marv N.

Read more from Marv’s review about saving money with solar in Charleston, South Carolina

If you are considering solar, do it now while any federal and state incentives are still in place as it makes the entire project more affordable. Make your final decision on the return of investment of 7 – 10 years. Also keep in mind any contractor you work with should be around for the duration of the installation and product’s 10 – 20 year warranty.

Based upon my present experience with Southern Current, I would definitely work with them once again. They were easy to work with, the on-site crew were professional and kept me informed throughout the installation.” – Steve V., Greenville resident

Learn more about this Greenville, South Carolina home solar panel install

“It was very easy. After we closed on the house, they came out, took photos, looked around, and went over our options. We decided on the panels, and filled out paperwork. That was on a Friday. The installation crew showed up on Monday, and were finished by Wednesday. Everyone was extremely professional.” – Piedmont resident Laura S.

Read more from Laura’s review about going solar in Piedmont, South Carolina 

Our power bill has been greatly reduced, and we expect to realize even better benefits during spring & summer months when abundant sun levels peak.

I highly recommend doing it, especially before the Federal & State solar incentives expire. Also, it is a tremendous way to do our part to reduce dependency on fossil fuels.” – James Island homeowner Craig B.

Read more from Craig’s review about saving with solar on James Island

More Reviews About Switching To Solar In South Carolina

Click the links below to read more reviews from South Carolina homeowners who have been saving money with solar panels for years.



Learn More About Switching To Solar Power

Southern Current is proud to be one of the top Solar Installers in the Southeast, with specialties in residential solar for homes, commercial solar for businesses, and utility-scale solar farms for property owners and utilities. Schedule a solar consultation today to receive a free analysis of how much money you could be saving with a solar panel installation! Don’t wait – Summer power bills are coming soon!

Top Solar Energy Myths Debunked

Solar energy is a truly viable source for clean power and is already in use by over 1 million homeowners across America. This article is designed to clear up some common solar energy myths, misconceptions and misinformation you might’ve heard about collecting free energy from the sun and powering your home or business with solar panels, just in time for Earth Day!

Debunking The Top 5 Solar Energy Myths

Solar Energy Myth #1 The technology is not ‘there yet’

  • False! Here’s why:
    Solar technology began taking off during the late 1950’s, supported by NASA and their need for electricity in space. The Vanguard missions were the first solar powered spacecraft, but NASA didn’t stop there. Lots of other American-made spacecraft utilized solar panels to absorb sunlight in space, including the Hubble Space Telescope in 1990, and four sets of solar arrays that still power the International Space Station.

    View from space. Did you know that solar panels power the International Space Station? Image credit: NASA

  • Panel wattage has increased along with efficiency from then until now, thanks largely in part to the rocket scientists and research & development departments in conjunction with NASA who worked tirelessly to find solutions to big problems related to producing electricity in space.
  • To put this into perspective, recognize that today we are installing solar panels on homes rated at 300-350 watts that take up the same roof space (square feet) as the solar panels we installed years ago that were rated at just 230-285 watts.
  • If solar technology is good enough for NASA, it’s good enough for your roof!
  • The other part of the ‘there yet’ equation relates to costs, but lucky for you solar costs are at all-time lows, and a key tax credit worth 30% of the cost of going solar was extended through the end of 2019!

Related: Stock Market Volatility Got You Looking For A Safer Investment? Check out why Solar Power Is A Low-Risk Retirement Investment With High Returns

Solar Energy Myth #2 It requires a battery

  • False! Here’s why:
  • The power grid you are using right now is essentially a virtual battery for people who produce their own power with solar panels.
  • During the day, when the sun is shining, solar panels absorb energy radiated from the sun and your solar energy system converts it into usable AC electricity that you can use inside your home to power whatever you need (TV, iPad, refrigerator, etc.).
  • If your solar panels produce more energy than you need, it goes back out to the power grid for someone else – like your neighbor – to use.

  • Alternatively, if your home requires more energy than your solar panels can provide, your system will pull the extra amount of power from the grid. It works seamlessly, you’ll never see lights flicker or anything crazy like that.
  • So you really don’t need a battery to store your solar energy for nighttime use (unless you live in an area where power outages are frequent because of natural disasters – but that’s a whole different conversation).

Solar Energy Myth #3 Its only used by hippies and environmentalists

  • False! Here’s why:
  • Yes, solar energy is used by people who place a high value on conserving resources and cleaning up the planet, but many people who go solar do it to save money (or even to make money).
  • Take, for example, our customer Jay G. who first went solar in 2015. After having solar panels installed on his primary home in West Columbia, he liked the savings he was seeing so much that he installed 15 more panels on his second home (vacation residence) on Edisto Island.

“We’ve been very pleased with our installation in West Columbia, SC. It was done in a professional manner in November of 2015 on our primary residence. Since then, we have not paid a utility bill and have actually built up around $500 in credit with SCE&G.

You can read more in our Customer Interview: Saving With Solar In West Columbia

Solar Energy Myth #4 Its only affordable for the rich

  • False! Here’s why:
  • First of all, recognize that without solar you are essentially renting your energy from the local power company. Instead you could be producing your own power via solar panels, and the cost would be much lower! This is one of the key drivers that is leading homeowners from all classes – lower, middle, and upper – to adopt solar energy.
  • An October 2013 study published on found that solar panels are popping up most on the roofs of middle class homeowners, not the 1%. “Installations are overwhelmingly in neighborhoods where median incomes range from $40,000 to $90,000” the authors of the study said.
  • As the solar market has matured, and solar panels have plummeted in price, new business models have enabled customers to buy solar power for little to no-money down. Sure, you may get the best deal if you pay with cash (as we wrote on our Owning vs. Leasing Solar blog), but $0 down financing and leasing options are available for virtually all incomes and credit scores.
  • Plus, homeowners from all classes have access to the same 30% Federal solar tax credit and the 25% South Carolina state tax credit for solar installations that happen in 2018.

Individuals interested in going solar in South Carolina have access to solar rebates and incentives which decrease the overall cost of solar power systems.

Related: Solar Rebates & Incentives Available In South Carolina

Solar Energy Myth #5 It won’t last long enough to pay for itself

  • False! Here’s why:
  • Most solar panels are sold with a 10–25 year warranty, and solar panels are engineered to deliver 80% of their rated power after about 30 years. Research tests have proven that solar panels can last for 40 years or longer!
  • In 2010 the website posted an article about the oldest solar panel in history, and how it was still producing power 60 years after it was designed!

    Image Credit: Green Building Advisor

  • Another article from tested a 30 year old solar panel and found it was still still performing to factory specifications.
  • If that’s not enough to convince you, consider this: For most homeowners in South Carolina, the average solar panel installation will pay for itself in under 10 years, followed by another 15+ years of ‘pre-paid’ maintenance-free savings.

Learn More About Solar Energy

Southern Current is proud to be one of the top Solar Installers in the Southeast, with specialties in residential solar for homes, commercial solar for businesses, and utility-scale solar farms for property owners and utilities. Schedule a solar consultation today to receive a free analysis of how much money you could be saving with a solar panel installation! Don’t wait – Summer power bills are coming soon!

Maximize Your Tax Refund By Investing In A Solar Power System

Tax return season is upon us, a time when many Americans turn their tax refunds into big ticket purchases. But before you upgrade to a new set of wheels, consider this: Installing a solar panel system can be one of the smartest investment options available.

Homeowners in South Carolina who go solar can reduce or eliminate electricity bills and free up more than $1,000 dollars in cash each year. And with $0-down, low interest solar financing options available from Southern Current, even homeowners that lack cash can take advantage of a solar power investment to start saving on electricity bills!

Solar Power: A low-risk retirement investment with high returns

People planning for their retirement generally pick low-risk investment opportunities to ensure that stable financial returns are delivered over time. Solar power is a great fit: solar panels provide steady, increasing returns, similar to traditional investments like stocks and bonds, but without the unpredictable fluctuations of the market.

Detail of solar panel roof atop a house in Charleston.

Financial benefits of a solar power investment include:

  • The dramatic reduction or elimination of monthly electricity bills. A home solar energy system can generate 50%, 60%, even 100% of your power needs, freeing up cash to be spent on things other than electricity payments.
  • Protection against future power-rate increases. Electricity rates go up every year – in 2015, they increased from 3% to 9.6% depending on where you live. By generating your own energy with solar, rather than renting it from the local utility, you can protect yourself from unpredictable rate increases for the lifetime of your solar energy system (30 years or more).
  • An increase in home value. Installing solar panels is an investment in your property and studies have shown that homebuyers are consistently willing to pay more for homes that are equipped with solar panels (because they have little to no electricity costs). You get the financial benefit of a solar energy installation today, and if you sell your home you get a bonus benefit in the form of sales premium.
  • Savings from solar are not taxable. Unlike returns from other investment vehicles (stocks, mutual funds, etc,), financial returns from solar come in the form of monthly savings, not income, meaning they are not subject to income taxes.
  • A solar investment is eligible for incentives. Imagine if your local financial adviser was able to offer you a 50% off sale on an annuity. While this scenario is very unlikely, the opposite is true of a solar investment.
    • The US federal government offers a 30% tax credit to both home and business owners who install solar power systems, plus the state of South Carolina offers an additional tax credit worth 25% of the total cost including installation. Plus, local power companies Duke Energy and SCE&G will pay YOU to go solar! Sound crazy? It’s actually a no-brainer!

Explore an investment in solar power today!

The first step when considering solar as an investment opportunity or for your retirement is to find out how much solar can actually save you. Contact Southern Current to schedule a no-cost solar consultation and see how much return on investment you could be earning!