Challenge: Determine the needs of the state in terms of renewable energy in the context of Act 236 and beyond.
Background: Recognized nationally as landmark legislation, the South Carolina Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Program Act of 2014 (Act 236) was passed unanimously by the South Carolina General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor. Designed collaboratively by policy makers, investor-owned utilities, electric cooperatives, the ORS, environmental and conservation groups, renewable energy developers and installers, large energy users, and other stakeholders in the state, this legislation represents multiple public policies. These policies support the adoption and integration of various types of renewable energy technologies in South Carolina — from small customer-generators like rooftop solar to large, “central plant” renewable generation — as well as distributed energy resources like energy storage.
Over the past two years, much has been accomplished under Act 236. To build on the growing South Carolina solar industry, we need to look at how to continue to incorporate more renewables, including wind, into future IRPs or through legislative actions that allow the utilities to operate their grids safely, reliably, economically, and equitably. In addition, as the price of solar continues to fall and the industry grows and matures, it is important for consumers to understand the economics of their purchasing decisions.
Approach: A study committee consisting of interested stakeholders drawn from the individual Duke Energy Progress (DEP), Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC), and South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G) DER advisory groups, augmented with other stakeholders as appropriate, should be formed. Also, joint cooperation is recommended — beginning with a meeting in 2017 to discuss not only the progress each utility has made toward fulfilling the goals of Act 236 but also to consider:
- renewable resources in addition to those included in current DER plans;
- program modifications required for an advanced, integrated grid to manage and optimize the increasingly dynamic flow of electricity such as energy storage, microgrids, electric vehicles, power quality, and system security; and
- opportunities to enhance current policy or regulations to further expedite infrastructure modernization, expansion, and service reliability
EAC DER Report (PDF)
Act 236 of 2014 (Link)
Settlement Agreement (PDF)
ORS Cost Shift Report (PDF)
Energy Plan Calendar