HomeSouth CarolinaEPA's Solar for All Program: South Carolina among 60 winners, receives $124...

EPA’s Solar for All Program: South Carolina among 60 winners, receives $124 million

Columbia, South Carolina – On Monday, South Carolina secured nearly $125 million in federal funds to kick-start new statewide initiatives aimed at increasing community-based solar power and boosting the workforce in the clean energy sector. These efforts are set to meet the growing demand for energy in the state, as noted in a news release. The funds, totaling $124.4 million, will be managed by the South Carolina Office of Resilience (SCOR). This funding will support the Community Solar Initiative, which focuses on installing solar panels on homes for both low-income homeowners and renters.

Additionally, the Solar Innovation Fund will work to broaden solar access and introduce energy storage solutions to enhance system reliability, the announcement detailed. These programs will also extend current solar training efforts to supply skilled workers for these projects across more communities in South Carolina.

SCOR was among 60 winners selected from a competitive field of states and other groups nationwide vying for a slice of the $7 billion Solar for All Program. This program, overseen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and created under the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, distributed grants to 49 states, six Tribes, and involved five multistate projects, the EPA reported.

“Pursuing this unprecedented, $124 million federal investment shows that the state recognizes the vital role of solar and other renewable energy solutions in South Carolina’s energy generation mix,” said Conservation Voters of South Carolina President John Tynan in the release. “As evidenced by this federal award, and more than $13 billion in clean energy manufacturing investments with over 16,000 jobs announced since August 2022, South Carolina is helping to lead the transition away from polluting coal-fired plants and speculative natural gas facilities of the past, and advancing toward a clean energy future that expands jobs and economic opportunity and improves health, wellness, and grid reliability in our communities.”

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According to the EPA, the 60 chosen applicants will either start new or enhance existing solar energy programs for low-income communities. This effort will allow around 900,000 households in economically disadvantaged areas to access distributed solar energy, as stated in the release. These initiatives collectively aim to meet the goals of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund by lowering greenhouse gas emissions, reducing air pollution, cutting energy costs for financially strained families, and introducing distributed solar to 25 states and territories that have not previously implemented a statewide program for low-income solar access.

The EPA also noted that the $7 billion allocated to these clean energy projects is expected to create approximately 200,000 jobs nationwide. All the selected programs plan to focus on developing local clean energy job training to provide equitable and sustainable employment opportunities. Notably, over one-third of the applicants are already working with local or national labor unions, showcasing the commitment to high labor standards and fostering an inclusive clean energy economy that benefits all American communities.

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“Today we’re delivering on President Biden’s promise that no community is left behind by investing $7 billion in solar energy projects for over 900,000 households in low-income and disadvantaged communities,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan in the release. “The selectees will advance solar energy initiatives across the country, creating hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs, saving $8 billion in energy costs for families, delivering cleaner air, and combating climate change.”

Click here for a full list of projects.

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