Five schools in the US state of South Carolina will soon begin generating electricity using roof-top solar panels as a result of being provided financial assistance from Palmetto Clean Energy, a nonprofit that promotes renewable energy resources.
Palmetto Clean Energy's Solar Matching Grant Pilot program targeted K-12 schools in South Carolina. The $250,000 program will cover 50 percent of a school’s rooftop solar installation – up to $50,000. Schools serving students from kindergarten through 12th grade, and not-for-profit 501(c)3 educational institutions in the state were eligible.
The program is intended to enable more schools and educational institutions to take advantage of solar technologies by assisting with upfront installation costs.
The five applicants selected for funding are:
• Bluffton High School (Beaufort County School District);
• Dixie Plantation Educational Holdings LLC, Environmental Research Stations at Dixie Plantation (College of Charleston);
• Griggs Road Elementary School (Clover School District);
• Roper Mountain Science Center (Greenville County School District);
• Whale Branch Early College High School (Beaufort County School District).
“By helping with initial installation costs, these grants enable more educational institutions to take advantage of solar technologies,” said Bob Long, chairman of the Palmetto Clean Energy board of directors.
“These matching grants can be used to cover half the cost of installing solar panels,” Long said.
The pilot program is funded by a previously announced contribution by Duke Energy. The contribution was part of a settlement agreement reached with the Environmental Defense Fund, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League during the Duke Energy-Progress Energy merger.
Installation work at the schools will likely begin in early 2014. Additional grants will be available in the spring of 2014.