Solar power surge: $340 million investment seen as key to development in Darlington County

DARLINGTON, S.C. — Darlington County officials said last year’s announcement that a solar energy company would invest $340 million to build 17 solar farms in the county shows that Darlington County means business.

Southern Current, a leading developer in the residential, commercial and utility-scale solar markets, announced it would expand its solar farm portfolio with facilities throughout the county.

Southern Current is an owner and developer of utility-scale solar energy facilities across the southeastern United States.

Darlington County economic development director Frank Willis said at the time that the announcement sends a powerful message about Darlington County as a place for industry to do business.

“We’re excited,” Willis said.

He said the investment will be the largest single investment in solar energy facilities in any county in South Carolina.

Willis said the new facilities will be a significant factor in attracting new industry to Darlington County.

“One key component to recruiting industry is when they look at an area, they want to know what the cost of power is,” he said. “What this says, with 17 sites and $340 million, that’s a lot of access to energy in Darlington County, and it’s all over the county. It’s not just in one part of the county.”

“Southern Current is proud to make Darlington County home to many of our projects,” said Southern Current chief development officer Paul Fleury. “We’re excited to roll out these major clean energy infrastructure investments over the next three to five years, which will produce substantial tax revenues to the county for decades to come. This wouldn’t be possible without the strong support of the county, partnerships with the economic development team and all of our vendors that help to make this possible.”

Darlington County Council Chairman Bobby Hudson welcomed the announcement.

“Southern Current’s substantial investment in solar power in Darlington County is consistent with our commitment to environmentally-clean growth,” Hudson said. “We are confident this will be a mutually-beneficial partnership for the company and our community.”