The South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) announced plans to bring solar power to the Wando Welch and Columbus Street terminals, making SCPA the largest rooftop solar host in the state.
Two solar panel arrays generating 3.7 total megawatts of electricity will
be installed on warehouse rooftops at the two SCPA terminals by summer 2016. SCPA said the panels will provide a significant offset to the port's energy usage
, returning power to the grid during peak hours of energy demand
and resulting in a direct reduction to power costs.
“The solar project is an exciting step that deepens the port's ongoing efforts to be an environmental leader in our industry,” said Pat McKinney, SCPA Board Chair. “The board fully supports our staff's recommendation of a rooftop lease agreement, which allows us to focus on our core business of running a port while still achieving both environmental and financial benefits.”
Under a 25-year rooftop lease agreement, the panels will be owned and maintained by SolBright Renewable Energy, LLC with no direct expense to SCPA. The panels are expected generate $1.5 million or more in profit for the SCPA over the life of the lease.
“The port has a responsibility to operate in a matter that is both mindful of the environment and good for business,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA President and CEO. “The panels will be a highly visible reflection of our sustainability program, and we look forward to the overall positive environmental and economic benefits they will provide.”