$2M solar energy project goes online, has potential to power 130 homes in Aiken County

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – State lawmakers and county leaders are building a sustainable source of energy in Aiken County.

On Wednesday, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster stopped at the MTU American facility, in Graniteville, for the completion of a multi-million dollar solar project.

130 homes will reap the benefits of these solar panels, which convert sunlight into electricity.

The system is made up of 4,242 solar panels of 320W each.

Once the solar rays are harnessed at the facility, they will be feed to South Carolina Electric & Gas, also known as SCE&G, grids for consumers to use.

The big draw for solar energy is that it’s the most abundant source of clean power.

“I want clean energy of every type,” said South Carolina State Representative Joe Wilson.

While it produces little to no pollution, the green technology does have some drawbacks.

“So like on a day, like today, when it’s raining it’s only producing about 14 percent of its capacity, and at night it produces zero.” MTU America Director of Operations Joerg Klisch told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

“We need to explore all our options and keep on going, because South Carolina is expanding.” Governor McMaster said.

Still, building a sustainable future is pricey.

The 7 acre solar farm, in Graniteville, cost $2 million dollars to create, but it’s set to bring in nearly $30,000 dollars a month in revenue.

“The cost as it is, is being offset immediately by energy production.” Wilson told WJBF NewsChannel 6. “Which makes it profitable.”

“So we will have a positive cash flow from day one.” Klisch said.

MTU hopes this is the first of many systems of renewable energy in Aiken County.

The solar project was a joint collaboration between MTU America, Sol America, SCE&G, Key Equipment Finance and Aiken County.

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story. 

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