News and Announcements

Duke’s Net Metering Program Reopens For A Limited Time

From now until March 15th 2019, Duke’s net metering program is open!

Duke Reopens Net Metering Program

Duke Energy agreed to reopen the recently closed net metering program for renewable energy.  The net metering program, gives solar customers credit for every kilowatt at the same rate they pay from the electricity company. This one-to-one ratio makes solar energy competitive in the marketplace and gives customers a great ROI on their solar system.

Quote from Southern Current’s Director of Regulatory Affairs

“The (extension) speaks to the fact that we have a constructive dialogue underway,” says Hamilton Davis, director of regulatory affairs for Southern Current. “This is a temporary fix, but the hope is we can have legislation we can propose together early in 2019.”

Duke net metering

What is Duke’s Net Metering Program?

Duke’s net metering program allows customers who generate electricity from their own solar panel system to offset their energy costs. Net metering participants receive bill credit from Duke Energy for the excess energy generated by their solar panel system.

Going Solar Now!

If you are thinking about going solar, the time to go is NOW. Duke’s net metering program will to remain until mid-March. However, South Carolina Electric & Gas is approaching their net metering cap as well. Be sure to capitalize on your solar investment as soon as possible. South Carolina has the highest electricity bills in the United States and solar can help reduce or eliminate your electric bills. Southern Current was named South Carolinas #1 Solar provider by Solar Power World and Charleston’s Choice – Best Solar Panel Company for 2 years running.

About Southern Current

Producing your own energy with solar offers a lifetime of rewards including lower power bills, higher property value, and numerous environmental benefits. Southern Current is proud to be one of South Carolina’s leading solar installers, with residentialcommercial, and utility-scale solar services available across the Southeast. Contact Us to find out how much you could be saving with a solar project at your location!

Other Articles about Duke’s Net Metering Program:

https://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2018/09/07/duke-energy-solar-advocates-ask-sc-regulators-to.html

https://www.postandcourier.com/news/duke-energy-agrees-to-extend-home-solar-program-boosting-sc/article_715bd712-b158-11e8-ae0d-7fced860ac37.html

solar installation company

The Ultimate Guide: How To Choose A Solar Installation Company

The Ultimate Guide On How To Choose A Solar Installation Company

There are several solar panel installation companies in the market. Finding the right one for you can be the most difficult decision in the process. If you read this guide from start to finish, you’ll know the best ways to choose a home solar panel installation company that is dependable and experienced in the solar market.

As solar is gaining momentum in South Carolina, it is important to choose a dependable company that is here to stay. Customer protection is a high priority of ours and we want to make sure our customers are finding the right solar installation company for their specific needs.

Below is a list of what to look for in your home solar panel installation company:

Solar Experience & Reputation:

Find out their background in solar

Experience is crucial in the solar industry. Each and every state have their own rules and regulations. It is important your solar installation company follows them correctly. Some solar companies are not turn-key which means they are not doing the entire process themselves. It is important to make sure the company is transparent about this information. If everyone is on the same page from the beginning of installation to the customer support after the installation, it makes for a better solar experience.

Read Reviews

Read the solar panel installation company’s reviews. This is the best way to obtain honest feedback from customers. Another way is to ask your solar specialist for references and testimonials. A good solar installation company will be able to direct you to happy customers willing to share their experience. Reviews can also provide an insight to the company’s dedication, customer service, and experience. For solar installations, the best website to reference is SolarReviews.com because customers must have had a solar installation by the company before you can leave a review.

Know who is working on your installation

It is important to know who is working on your home solar installation. The experience of the install can be almost just as important as the production of your panels. You want installers that are certified, skilled, and professional working in your house and on your system.

Compare apples to apples

Every company includes different figures on their quotes. Make sure you are comparing ‘apples to apples’. If you have trouble understanding something on your quote, be sure to reach out to your solar professional to have them explain in detail. One item to pay particular attention to is the percent of offset and how it is being calculated.

Questions to ask:

  • How long have you been installing in your state?
  • Are the installers that will be working on my project direct employees of your company?
  • Are you a member of solar trade organizations such as SEIA or SC Solar Council?
  • Is the “% of offset” projection based on my current annual usage or how will you estimate future changes in use?
  • What are your solar review ratings and can you provide vetted 3rd party testimonials ?
  • Has your company registered with ORS? (utility regulation)

Quality Control:

Better Business Bureau

BBB otherwise known as the Better Business Bureau sets standards for ethical business practices.

  • BBB sets standards for ethical business behavior and monitors compliance. Almost 400,000 Accredited Businesses meet and commit to our high standards.
  • BBB helps consumers identify trustworthy businesses, and those that aren’t, through more than 4 million BBB Business Reviews.
  • BBB sets standards for and evaluates thousands of advertisements each year to ensure that people can trust what advertisers say.
  • BBB sets standards for and evaluates the practices of thousands of charities so that donors know where their money is going.
  • BBB coaches businesses on ethical behavior and how to build stronger, more trusting relationships with their customers.
NABCEP certifications

NABCEP is the quality control standard for solar. These certifications obtained by solar installation professionals hold them to the highest standard in the industry.

NABCEP’s goal is to develop voluntary national credentialing programs that will:

  • Promote renewable energy
  • Provide value to practitioners
  • Promote worker safety and skill
  • Promote consumer confidence
Software

This piece of the puzzle is critical to choosing a solar company. Depending on the type of software they are using, or lack thereof, will determine the size of the system along with, factors that might change your production. These factors may include: tree shading, architectural shading, and accurate environmental, product, and site specifics.  

Questions to ask:

  • What is your BBB rating?
  • How many NABCEP certified employees do you have at your company?
  • What software do you use to estimate the production of my solar system?

Solar permits, warranties, and insurance:

Warranties

Check the warranties to see if they are through the manufacturer or through your solar installation company. There is more than just one item that makes up your solar panel system, so ask for the warranties on each item. Take the time to look into the warranties and make sure to fully understand them. Workmanship warranties are specific to the designing and constructing of the solar panel system. These solar warranties typically range from 1-10 years.

Solar Permits

Solar requires electrical and building permits that come from your local jurisdiction. Essentially anyone who owns your property parcel (county, city or town).

Interconnection Application

Application to seek permission for your solar system to be connected to the grid- submitted to the utility.

Licenses

Business licenses to operate in each town – something the solar company has to obtain. In order to submit permits the solar company must have electrical and general contractors license.

Insurance

In order to move forward with the solar installation companies should ask the customer for proof of homeowners insurance. The solar installation company should carry an insurance policy as well, this is an important question to ask if in the rare case, there are any damages.

Questions to ask:

  • Do you handle neighborhood permits and utility requirements along with associated fees?
  • What sort of workmanship warranty do you provide and who covers potential damages resulting from installation?
  • What type and amount of insurance policy do you carry?

Is your solar solar installation company here to stay?

The biggest question a customer should ask is if their company is here to stay. Many of the large national companies will come try to steal their share of the market and leave once they obtain their share of the market. Make sure you are going to have a company that will be in business as long as your solar panels!

Learn more from our sources:

http://solar.sc.gov/choosinganinstallerorcontractor

https://www.seia.org/research-resources/residential-consumer-guide-solar-power

http://www.scsolarcouncil.org/resources/education/solar-basics/

843.277.2090 www.southerncurrentllc.com 1519 King Street Charleston, SC 29405

About Southern Current

Headquartered in Charleston, SC, Southern Current is a leading developer and solar installation company in the residential, commercial and utility-scale markets with hundreds of systems currently providing clean power to customers across the Southeastern US. Our integrated platform includes Project Development, Engineering, Construction, Maintenance, Finance and Asset Management. www.southerncurrentllc.com

solar farm project

51-MW Solar Farm Project Launches in South Carolina

Construction Begins on 51-Megawatt Solar Generation Project in South Carolina

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster officiated the groundbreaking ceremony this morning for the first of four solar plants in the 51-megawatt project.

(New York, NY-  July 27, 2018) C2 Energy Capital broke ground today on the first of four South Carolina solar generation plants that will make up a 51-megawatt (MWDC)/36 MWAC portfolio. The 10.82 MWDC / 8.16MWac Lexington County plant, Diamond Solar, is expected to reach commercial operations by end of 2018.

“We’re proud to begin construction on the Diamond Solar plant, a project that will bring South Carolina area residents and businesses clean power, new jobs, and economic investment,” said Richard Dovere, Managing Member, C2 Energy Capital, LLC. “South Carolina has a bright future ahead with a growing population, productive workforce, and expanding economy. The Diamond project, and the three additional plants that will be built in Barnwell County, represent our long-term commitment and investment toward an even brighter future for the state fueled by clean energy, new technology, and sustainable growth opportunities.”

The Diamond Solar plant is projected to generate an estimated $1.44 million in tax revenue over the lifetime of the project for South Carolina. Cumulatively, the four plants are expected to create approximately 340 craft labor area jobs during peak construction of the projects.

The projects were established by local Charleston based developer, Southern Current, and financed by Salt Lake City based Celtic Bank.

“Southern Current is committed to bringing a cheaper, more sustainable energy future to South Carolina. The Diamond plant is another step in that direction and we are excited to see it start construction. I’d also like to offer a special thank you to the forward-looking leadership in Lexington County who assisted us with developing this project,” said Bret Sowers, Vice President, Southern Current.

Justin Fuller, Senior Vice President of Renewable Energy Finance for Celtic Bank remarked, “Celtic Bank is pleased to partner with the project stakeholders to finance our first South Carolina portfolio with both construction and long-term financing. It’s a market that we’ve watched grow quickly over the last two years and we’re proud to contribute to its continued proliferation.” 

DEPCOM Power will direct the engineering, procurement, construction, operations, and maintenance services for the 51-megawatt portfolio.

“We look forward to designing, building and operating an efficient, clean energy solar plant for the great state of South Carolina. As part of our commitment to the local communities where we build, DEPCOM will also seek to invest in the local economy, sourcing services from local businesses, hiring 90% of our craft labor force locally, and recruiting local, U.S. veterans,” said, Tony Perrino, Vice President of Operations, DEPCOM Power.

During the groundbreaking, DEPCOM Power’s CEO, Jim Lamon, announced donations to local outreach organizations on behalf of the project’s community stewardship commitment. A $20,000 donation to local food bank, Harvest Hope, was provided to Board Chairman Davis Bourne, along with an $18,000 donation to The Independence Fund, which provided a tracked mobility chair for a local wounded veteran.

First-year production for the Diamond Solar plant is expected to be approximately 18,708 MWh. The three additional solar plants, Blackville Solar II (20 MWAC), Edison Solar (4.76 MWAC), and Richardson Solar (3.6 MWAC), will be based in Barnwell County. Diamond Solar, Blackville Solar and Edison Solar and are expected to begin providing power to the grid for area residents and businesses in 2018 and Richardson Solar slated to come online in Summer 2019. Once completed, the 51-megawatt project will deliver clean energy for an estimated 2,100 households and businesses in the area.

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About C2 Energy Capital

C2 Energy Capital is a private investment firm that specializes in creating state-of-the-art sustainable, efficient, and clean power generation opportunities across the country. Based in New York, the C2 team combines extensive financing, development, and operational expertise with a commitment to building long-term relationships, delivering operational excellence, and creating a sustainable energy future. www.c2.energy

About Celtic Bank:

Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Celtic Bank is a privately owned industrial bank chartered by the State of Utah.  Celtic Bank specializes in small business finance, helping business owners with working capital, expansion, acquisition, construction, equipment financing, renewable energy finance, real estate purchase, refinance, and more. Celtic Bank has ranked as one of the top ten SBA lenders nationally since 2013, with a proven track record in a range of industries, including Renewable Energy Finance, Healthcare, Gas Station / C-Store, Car Wash, Hotel and others.  We approach every business loan application with a creative and problem-solving mindset and aim to structure tailored financing solutions that help our clients meet their growth objectives. www.celticbank.com

About Southern Current

Headquartered in Charleston, SC, Southern Current is a leading developer and installer in the residential, commercial and utility-scale markets with hundreds of systems currently providing clean power to customers across the Southeastern US. Our integrated platform includes Project Development, Engineering, Construction, Maintenance, Finance and Asset Management. www.southerncurrentllc.com

About DEPCOM Power

DEPCOM Power is a partner in utility scale solar for: Project Development Support, Engineering, Procurement & Construction and Operations and Maintenance services for utilities, independent power producers and project development companies. DEPCOM Power leverages a highly experienced solar team, technology and agnostic top-tier solar modules and cost-effective balance of system components to provide optimum levels of agility, price and quality for utility scale solar. www.depcompower.com