Santee Cooper board in South Carolina increases community solar incentives

Santee Cooper customers who install rooftop solar panels or buy into Solar Share, the utility’s community solar project, will see their solar investment pay off much sooner under new incentives that the Board of Directors approved Dec. 5.

Santee Cooper’s Board will reassess the terms of Solar Share, Solar Home and Solar Business at least annually going forward.

New incentives include larger per-watt rebates. The rebate for residential Solar Home and Solar Business customers who install rooftop panels is now $1.60 per watt, up from $1.30. The rebate for customers who invest in Solar Share community solar is now $1.40 per watt, up from $1. Also, rebates are now applicable for up to 6-kilowatt installations, where the programs originally limited rebates to 4 kW of installed capacity.

“We launched these programs last spring to help our customers invest in solar power and cut their electric bills over the life of the program,” said Lonnie Carter, Santee Cooper president and CEO. “With good feedback from our customers, we’ve made the programs even better. These new incentives cut in half, approximately, the time it takes the solar investment to pay for itself.”

Under the new incentives, a customer who purchases a 17-year, 4-kW Solar Share subscription could recover that investment in just under five years. A residential customer who uses an average 1,762 kWh each month and installs a 4-kW rooftop solar array could recover that investment in less than six years. To learn more or to get in touch with a Santee Cooper energy advisor, visit

Solar Share is South Carolina’s first community solar program, and it addresses some of the built-in limitations to rooftop solar. By subscribing to output from a community solar farm, customers who live in apartments, condos or even homes in shady yards can enjoy the same benefit of solar power as customers who place panels on their own roofs.

Through Solar Share, a Santee Cooper customer can purchase as a subscription the solar power produced each month by their share of the Colleton Solar Farm. For a 4-kW share, Santee Cooper rebates $5,600 of the $7,280 subscription price, so the customer’s net cost is $1,680. The solar power produced each month by that share shows up as a credit on the customer’s monthly bill. Projected savings from that monthly credit could pay for the 4-kW share in less than five years, and the share would continue to produce a bill credit to the customer for an additional 12 years.

Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s largest power provider, the largest Green Power generator and the ultimate source of electricity for 2 million people across the state.