Watson Tate Savory designed the solar canopies for the Technical College of the Lowcounty, which recently opened. The canopies will contribute 20 Killowatt to the power grid.
The following is a newspaper article about the project.
Utilities unveil solar panels at Bluffton campus of TCL
“This is the largest solar array in the Lowcountry, and one of the largest — if not the largest — in the state,” said Lonnie Carter, Santee Cooper president and CEO.
The $230,000 project includes nine canopies, each covered with 10 solar panels. Each canopy shelters a bench that students and faculty can use as a gathering place.
The electricity generated by the panels will be metered and supplied to the grid through Palmetto Electric’s distribution system. The panels will provide enough energy to power three or four homes, said G. Thomas Upshaw, cooperative president and CEO.
The project was paid for by South Carolinians who participate in Santee Cooper’s Green Power program. Customers can purchase blocks of green power for $3 a month, and all revenue is reinvested in green power projects in the state, according to Palmetto Electric’s Web site. Santee generates the power, mostly from methane gas collected at landfills, and Palmetto Electric distributes it, the Web site said.
U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., praised the project at Monday’s dedication, calling solar power an important part of the “all-of-the-above” energy strategy he supports.
“We need to promote clean energy that can be achieved right here in the U.S.,” he said.
TCL stresses renewable energy in its industrial and engineering technology programs, and students already are experimenting with tidal, solar and wind power, said Everett Feight, dean of the industrial technology division. In December, students used tidal power to light the college’s holiday tree.
The solar array will provide students another opportunity. A Web-based system will allow students to monitor the solar array’s energy performance and allow them to compare power creation at different times of the day.
“This is a great complement to what we have already started at the college,” Feight said. “… We hope to train the technicians of the future.”