News and Announcements

Southern Current Residential and Commercial Solar Reach in Greenville

As many of you know, Southern Current has been servicing the entire state of South Carolina since the company started over 10 years ago. What you may not know is that our Greenville location opened about  2 years ago as we saw a growing need to expand our local residential and commercial service in the upstate. Justin Parrish is Southern Current’s Business Development Manager for this area: 

“I met my wife in Charleston and we moved to Greenville about 4 years ago. We love that it’s in the foothills and you can get to Asheville in an hour,” Justin says, “Greenville is a great area because it’s been a growing city for a while. It’s smaller but has tons of amenities for young people – breweries, restaurants, and farmers markets – it’s the best of both worlds for a more localized life.” 

Drone aerial of the downtown Greenville South Carolina SC skyline at sunrise.
Kevin Ruck/shutterstock.com

Because Greenville is the manufacturing hub of the southeast, a lot of businesses come through and the new infrastructure attracts a strong middle class. Southern Current believes in the value of servicing our customers in that area with the same quality and attention as anywhere else in the state. 

On a macro level, Southern Current is one of the founders of the solar industry in South Carolina and even the entire southeast. For over a decade, we have had the most influence on creating the solar market that current exists. We have an entire team dedicated to ensuring that this market has attractive legislation and incentives so customers can justify solar. We are driving economic development, wages and tax revenues in a way that nobody else is within the community on a level that nobody else can.

Particularly in the Greenville market, consumers tend to fall for the  “more for less” companies when it comes to solar, but there is no other company that compares to Southern Current.  We are part of the South Carolina Solar Council and South Carolina Solar Business Alliance. Our team is taking progressive strides in all areas of solar, not just installation. “If it weren’t for this kind of movement, the solar industry in our area would not be what it is today”.  Justin explains, “We have been the backbone of progressive solar legislation in SC, particularly for residential customers.”   

At Southern Current, we do not subcontract labor or any aspect of solar installation from start to finish. With now over 110 employees, our team has doubled in the last two years. Our diversity is what allows us to service our customers on a sustainable and expansive level. This all guarantees that we will be here long term because of the moves that we make in all areas from utility scale, commercial and residential. 

One of our commercial projects at the Greenville Target

Nobody is even a close second as to how we manuever as a company. “We are the highest quality installer that exists and always will be,” Justin says, “There is no one else in the same realm as to what we do and have done.”

Greenville solar customers can find the best of both worlds by supporting a local company that also has a big footprint on the industry at large with Southern Current. Our #SoCuSolarArmy trusts us because we offer quality control and believe in empowering our customers through education. 

The Southern Current Greenville office is located near Paris Mountain at 1808 Rutherford Road, on the industrial side surrounded by the railroads and port authority.

As with every county in South Carolina, Greenville solar clients can take advantage of the 25% tax credit and 30% federal tax incentive, but not forever! Make sure to contact us for a consultation if you’ve been considering solar. 

Southern Current Helps Launch Renewable Energy Chapter: Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy Coming to Charleston

CHARLESTON, SC — Southern Current, the Lowcountry’s leading solar energy company, is helping launch a Charleston chapter of Women in Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE).

WRISE promotes the education, professional development, and advancement of women to achieve “a strong diversified workforce and support a robust renewable energy economy.” Through their core principles of building community, promoting education, and cultivating leadership, WRISE advances women’s professional interests in the renewables industry.

WRISE and Southern Current will host the coastal SC chapter’s next meeting on June 5 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at One80 Place, 35 Walnut Street. The meeting will feature a conversation with Elizabeth Colbert-Busch.

Steffanie Dohn, Director of Government Relations for Southern Current, notes: “As a dynamic, growing industry, renewable energy holds great promise for women working from the ground floor to the C-suite. Our goal is to create a network of talent and insights to help women achieve success in this field.”

Southern Current was a member of statewide coalitions that recently advocated for The Energy Freedom Act, which ensures competitive pricing and a way forward for renewable energy in residences, commercial properties and large-scale applications.

Founded in 2005 as Women of Wind Energy (WoWE), they rebranded in May 2017 to the WRISE title. WRISE’s dedicated staff and volunteers are “committed to building a diverse workforce for the success of renewable energy in the US and around the world.” WRISE’s local chapters get their communities involved in many ways such as “hosting a variety of educational and networking events including field trips and outreach to schools.” The organization has grown to include 30 chapters across the United States and Canada, with Charleston being the newest addition to their growing contingent of branches. The group’s headquarters are based in Brooklyn, New York, but their footprint spreads across North America.

SC’s new Energy Freedom Act opens up energy-production markets to more competition

This past Tuesday, in a State House rotunda packed with media, renewable-energy activists and solar-industry entrepreneurs, I stood alongside Gov. Henry McMaster as he signed into law a bill titled the “Energy Freedom Act,” which I co-authored with Rep. Peter McCoy, R-Charleston.

It has been widely reported that this new law is about promoting clean energy, and that’s partially true.

But it’s really about something more fundamental: it is a first step away from the energy-production monopolies that have saddled South Carolinians with some of the highest electricity bills in the nation, and toward real competition that will provide downward pressure on the cost of producing energy.

Over 60 years ago, the South Carolina General Assembly began passing laws that provided mega-utilities with service-area monopolies and guaranteed them a generous return on their invested capital. That made sense then, given the high fixed costs of building plants and power grids and the difficulty the South had at the time in attracting investment capital.

That same model is still in place today, with Santee Cooper, Duke Energy and Dominion Energy (formerly SCE&G) holding the monopolies.

But as the nuclear-facility debacle in Fairfield County illustrated, with $9 billion having been spent by Santee Cooper and SCE&G (and to be paid for by their customers!) on a now-abandoned project, there are dangers inherent in this model.

Mega-utilities with monopolies will inevitably pursue expensive projects because the return they get is directly related to what they spend. There is little incentive for them to embrace cutting-edge technologies in order to lower energy-production costs.

As a result we have not fully benefited from the explosion in communications technology which, in other parts of our country, has revolutionized every aspect of the electricity-supply chain — technology that makes it much easier to communicate, coordinate, and automate grid interactions and that facilitates access to new market participants naturally incentivized to innovate.

The Energy Freedom Act opens up the grid to this new technology and these new participants. Among other things, like eliminating the net-metering cap for rooftop solar, it says if an independent power producer demonstrates the ability to generate electricity more cheaply than a mega-utility, then it must be allowed to sell that power to the grid, with savings being passed along to consumers.

The objective here is for consumers to pay rates that are a function of what competition in the energy-production market dictates, as opposed to simply paying a mega-utility a guaranteed rate of return on its invested capital. And also to remove barriers to market-driven innovations, for no one knows what else markets may come up with when the grid is open to all.

This latter point was made in a recent piece published in Utility Drive: “As thousands of new 5G cell towers are installed across the country over the next few years and ubiquitous sensors allow for more sophisticated management of electric load and accommodation of innovation, the ‘Internet of Things’ has the power to revolutionize the electric industry … The electric-utility industry has the potential to deliver innovations in service that have heretofore been unimaginable.”

The Energy Freedom Act will help clear the way for these innovations, but considerable work remains to be done, for the old way of doing business and those who benefit from it never yield to any change without a fight.

In particular, careful attention must be paid to the actions of the Public Service Commission, which is charged with implementing the new law. Still, this was a win for South Carolinians and a good first step.

Tom Davis is a State Senator representing portions of Beaufort and Jasper counties.