Big Week for Solar Energy in South Carolina

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Solar panel installation at the Columbia Museum of Art in 2010.


 

Last week both the SC House of Representatives and Senate unanimously passed S.1189, the Distributed Energy Resource Program Act, otherwise known as the Solar Energy bill. This bill, which includes solar leasing, net metering, and an optional distributed energy resource program, will make solar energy available to residential, business and non-profit customers in a new and affordable way, according to the Conservation Voters of South Carolina. 

Click here for Sammy Fretwell’s excellent article on this legislation in The State Newspaper: solar-shining-after-dark-ages 

 

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Governor Haley Signs H.3592 Into Law

This week saw a major victory for the South Carolina sustainable design and construction industry when Governor Nikki Haley signed SC House Bill 3592 into law on Monday.

After many months and many maneuvers to turn H.3592 from a LEED elimination bill into a bill that maintains the use of green building rating systems as required in the original Energy Independence & Sustainable Construction Act of 2007, Senator Paul Campbell amended the bill to require the adoption of LEED and Green Globes by reference – which allows projects to be registered under the new version of either rating system if the older version sunsets – and to establish a new advisory committee under the Office of the State Engineer.  The Energy Independence and Sustainable Construction Advisory Committee will be comprised of design and construction professionals and manufacturers as well as representatives from the state’s higher education agencies.

This new committee will review upcoming versions of LEED and Green Globes and make recommendations to the State Budget & Control Board, soon to be the State Fiscal Accountability Authority.

The committee will also be charged with reviewing possible amendments to the 2007 law regarding “payback” requirements on all state projects that employ either green building rating system.

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Patterson Hall on USC’s Columbia Campus, which received a LEED Gold rating for the renovation and addition designed by the Garvin Design Group.

AIA South Carolina worked with USGBC-SC, CAGC Building Division, and the SC Council of Engineering and Surveying Societies to ensure design and construction professionals continue to have available the use of green building rating systems on projects that are required by law to achieve certain energy efficiency and sustainable design thresholds.

Our sincere thanks go to Senator Campbell, and to Rep. Bill Sandifer who sheparded the bill back through the SC House to the Governor’s desk for her signature.