South Carolina/EZ Policies

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EZ Policies for South Carolina

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Policy Place Policy Type Active Implementing Sector Summary
Atlantic Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Compact (Multiple States) South Carolina
Connecticut
New Jersey
Environmental Regulations
Siting and Permitting
Yes State/Province The Atlantic (Northeast) Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Compact is a cooperative effort to plan, regulate, and administer the disposal of low-level radioactive waste in the region. The states of Connecticut, New Jersey, and South Carolina are party to this compact.
Atomic Energy and Radiation Control Act (South Carolina) South Carolina Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province The Division of State Development within the Department of Commerce is responsible for the promotion and development of atomic energy in the state, and is authorized to enact relevant rules and regulations. The South Carolina Budget and Control Board may finance projects or lease lands for atomic energy development. The Department of Health and Environmental Control is responsible for the control and regulation of radiation sources that are not licensed by the Federal Government, as well as for the transportation of radioactive materials.
Biomass Energy Production Incentive (South Carolina) South Carolina Performance-Based Incentive Yes State/Territory Note: New claimaints are only eligible to receive this credit through June 30th, 2018 and will not be eligible to receive the credit for a full five year term.


In 2007 South Carolina enacted the Energy Freedom and Rural Development Act, which provides production incentives for certain biomass-energy facilities. Eligible systems earn $0.01 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for electricity generated or $0.30 per therm (100,000 Btu) for energy produced from biomass resources. These incentives are available to systems that did not produce energy from biomass resources before June 30, 2008, or systems that increase production by at 25% over their greatest three-year average before June 30, 2008. The incentive payment is also applicable to energy from a qualifying facility placed in service and first producing energy on or after July 1, 2008. The maximum incentive is $100,000 per taxpayer per year. Incentives will be paid beginning on the date the system was placed in service. No incentives will be awarded after June 30, 2018. All claims will be paid from the state's general fund, and total claims may not exceed $2.1 million per fiscal year. As of August 2009, the South Carolina Department of Revenue had distributed $300,000 in payments. The incentive payment for the production of electricity or thermal energy may not be claimed for both electricity and energy produced from the same biomass resource.

For the purposes of this incentive, a biomass resource is defined as "wood, wood waste, agricultural waste, animal waste, sewage, landfill gas, and other organic materials, not including fossil fuels."

For more information about how to apply for the incentive, review the program application.
Biomass Energy Tax Credit (Corporate) (South Carolina) South Carolina Corporate Tax Credit Yes State/Territory In 2007 South Carolina enacted the Energy Freedom and Rural Development Act (S.B. 243), which amended previous legislation concerning a landfill methane tax credit. The original legislation, enacted in 2006, allows a 25% corporate tax credit for costs incurred by a taxpayer for the use of landfill methane gas to provide power for a manufacturing facility. The 2007 amendments allow taxpayers a credit against the income tax and/or license fees for 25% of the purchasing and installation cost of equipment used to create heat, power, steam, electricity, or another form of energy. Fuels used by the equipment must be for commercial use and consist of at least 90% biomass resources.


In 2011, the South Carolina Department of Revenue issued a private ruling that the tax credit could be applied to an individual's income taxes. Specifically, a limited liability company (LLC) utilizing the biomass tax credit is allowed to pass through the credit to the shareholders of an S Corporation owning 60% of the parent LLC, provided there are at least four shareholders and all are residents of South Carolina. Costs incurred by a taxpayer must be certified by the State Energy Office, in consultation with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture and the South Carolina Institute for Energy Studies, in order to qualify for the credit.

The tax credit for all expenditures is limited to $650,000 per taxpayer year and may not exceed 50% of a taxpayer's liability for that year. Unused credits may be carried forward for 15 years. For a fiscal year, all claims may not exceed $650,000 and must apply proportionately to all eligible claimants. To obtain the maximum amount of credit available, the taxpayer must submit a request for credit to the State Energy Office by January 31st for all qualifying equipment placed in service in the previous calendar year. The State Energy Office must notify the taxpayer that it qualifies for the credit and the amount of credit allocated to the taxpayer by March 1st of that year.

For purposes of this credit, a biomass resource means non-commercial wood, by-products of wood processing, demolition debris containing wood, agricultural waste, animal waste, sewage, landfill gas, and other organic materials, not including fossil fuels. "Commercial use" means a use intended for the purpose of generating a profit. A "manufacturing facility" means an establishment where tangible personal property is produced or assembled.
Biomass Energy Tax Credit (Personal) (South Carolina) South Carolina Personal Tax Credit Yes State/Territory In 2007 South Carolina enacted the Energy Freedom and Rural Development Act (S.B. 243), which amended previous legislation concerning a landfill methane tax credit. The original legislation, enacted in 2006, allows a 25% corporate tax credit for costs incurred by a taxpayer for the use of landfill methane gas to provide power for a manufacturing facility. The 2007 amendments provide that, for taxable years beginning after 2007, taxpayers are allowed a credit against the income tax and/or license fees for 25% of the costs incurred by the taxpayer for the purchase and installation of equipment used to create heat, power, steam, electricity or another form of energy for commercial use from a fuel consisting of at least 90% biomass resources.

In 2011, the South Carolina Department of Revenue [1] issued a private ruling that the tax credit could be applied to an individual's income taxes. Specifically, a limited liability company (LLC) utilizing the biomass tax credit is allowed to pass through the credit to the shareholders of an S Corporation owning 60% of the parent LLC, provided there are at least four shareholders and all are residents of South Carolina. Costs incurred by a taxpayer must be certified by the State Energy Office, in consultation with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture and the South Carolina Institute for Energy Studies, in order to qualify for the credit.

For taxable years beginning after 2007, the tax credit for all expenditures is limited to $650,000 per taxpayer year, and may not exceed 50% of a taxpayer's liability for that year. Unused credits may be carried forward for 15 years. For a fiscal year, all claims may not exceed $650,000 and must apply proportionately to all eligible claimants. To obtain the maximum amount of credit available, the taxpayer must submit a request for credit to the State Energy Office by January 31st for all qualifying equipment placed in service in the previous calendar year. The State Energy Office must notify the taxpayer that it qualifies for the credit and the amount of credit allocated to the taxpayer by March 1st of that year.

For purposes of this credit, a biomass resource means non-commercial wood, by-products of wood processing, demolition debris containing wood, agricultural waste, animal waste, sewage, landfill gas, and other organic materials, not including fossil fuels. "Commercial use" means a use intended for the purpose of generating a profit. A "manufacturing facility" means an establishment where tangible personal property is produced or assembled.
Climate Action Plan (South Carolina) South Carolina Climate Policies Yes State/Province Governor Sanford issued Executive Order 2007-04 on February 16, 2007, establishing the South Carolina Climate, Energy and Commerce Advisory Committee (CECAC).

The Committee was made up of members representing a broad range of stakeholders including: industry, environmental groups, government agencies, academic institutions, agriculture, forestry, coastal interests, real estate, tourism, banking, insurance and other sectors. The non-profit Center for Climate Strategies (www.climatestrategies.us) will provide facilitation and technical support.

The current members of CECAC are listed at this address: http://www.fws.gov/southeast/climate/policy/ClimateSCClimateActionPlan082008.pdf
Coastal Tidelands and Wetlands (South Carolina) South Carolina Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province This legislation enacts a state management program to oversee water and land use and development in South Carolina's coastal zone. Under the program, the Department of Health and Environmental Control is authorized to enact regulations to protect coastal zones. Permits are required for many activities which may disrupt land or water in these areas, including dredging, the construction of pipelines, and other development.

The South Carolina Coastal Management Program was established under the guidelines of the national Coastal Zone Management Act (1972) as a state-federal partnership to comprehensively manage coastal resources. It was authorized in 1977 under SC’s Coastal Tidelands and Wetlands Act (CTWA) with the goal of achieving balance between the appropriate use, development, and conservation of coastal resources in the best interest of all citizens of the state.

DHEC's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (DHEC-OCRM) is the designated state coastal management agency and is responsible for the implementation of the state’s Coastal Management Program. Implementation includes the direct regulation of impacts to coastal resources within the critical areas of the state including coastal waters, tidelands, beaches and beach dune systems; and indirect certification authority over direct federal actions and federal and state permit decisions within the eight coastal counties.

The SC Coastal Management Program also includes the direct permitting of stormwater and land disturbances in the coastal zone in coordination with the state-wide stormwater permitting program.
Community Development Block Grant/Economic Development Infrastructure Financing (United States) United States Grant Program
Loan Program
Yes Federal Community Development Block Grant/Economic Development Infrastructure Financing (CDBG/EDIF) provides public infrastructure financing to help communities grow jobs, enable new business startups and expansions for existing businesses. State programs help achieve the national objective of CDBG by funding projects in which at least 51 percent of the new jobs created are made available to low and moderate income individuals. The maximum amounts awarded under the program are $1 million for new businesses locating to the state and $500,000 for existing businesses expanding in the state.
ConserFund Loan Program (South Carolina) South Carolina State Loan Program Yes State/Territory The South Carolina Energy Office offers the ConserFund Loan Program to fund energy efficiency improvements in state agencies, local governments, public colleges and universities, school districts and private non-profit organizations. The ConserFund Loan Program will fund a variety of efficiency improvements, but priority is given to projects that have a fast energy savings payback. Generally, ConserFund loans are to be used on retrofits of existing buildings. However, ConserFund may be used to finance energy recovery systems, ground source heat pumps, biomass, solar, and other renewable energy systems in new construction facilities.

Organizations may finance one or multiple projects, covering up to 100% of eligible project costs, from $25,000 to $500,000. Implementation of the energy efficiency improvement must begin within six months of the loan closing and the proposed energy improvement must have long-term cost reductions to qualify.

To start the financing process, download a form from the program website or contact the South Carolina Energy Office.
Construction in Navigable Waters (South Carolina) South Carolina Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province This South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control program establishes a number of provisions regarding waters, water resources, and drainage in South Carolina. Navigable streams and rivers are declared to be common highways and “forever free”. The obstruction of such waterways is prohibited. A permit is required for hydroelectric projects necessitating the impoundment or diversion of navigable streams; some exemptions apply. The remainder of this legislation addresses permitting fees, landowner obligations, and the use of navigable waterways for timber transport.
Dams and Reservoirs Safety Act (South Carolina) South Carolina Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province The Dams and Reservoirs Safety Act provides for the certification and inspection of dams in South Carolina and confers regulatory authority on the Department of Health and Environmental Control. Owners of dams and reservoirs are responsible for maintaining the safety of the structures, and must follow directives from the Department regarding dam maintenance, alteration, reconstruction, and removal in the event of unsafe conditions or lack of maintenance. Owners must also obtain Department approval prior to the construction, repair, alteration, enlargement, or removal of any dam or reservoir. Some exemptions apply for state- and federally-owned dams and small structures.
Duke Energy - Net Metering (South Carolina) South Carolina Net Metering Yes Utility In August 2009, the South Carolina Public Service Commission issued an [2] order mandating net metering be made available by the regulating utilities; the order incorporates a net metering settlement signed by the individual interveners, the Office of Regulatory Staff and the three investor-owned utilities (IOUs). The order detailed the terms of net metering, including the ownership of RECs in South Carolina and standardized the structure of net metering programs offered by the IOUs.

Net excess generation (NEG) is credited to the customer's next bill at the utility's retail rate, and then surrendered to the utility annually at the beginning of each summer season on June. Net-metered customers' on-peak generation (under the TOU tariff) may be used to offset off-peak consumption, but not vice versa. Significantly, these tariffs involve additional charges that do not apply to customers who do not net meter. Duke Energy requires net-metered customers to switch to a TOU tariff (which incorporates potentially high demand charges into its fee structure) or charges customers additional monthly fees, including stand-by charges.

Systems must comply with the South Carolina Standard for Interconnecting Small Generation 100 kW or less with Electric Power Systems (EPS). For more information, see the utility's program web site.
Electric Utilities and Electric Cooperatives (South Carolina) South Carolina Generating Facility Rate-Making
Siting and Permitting
Yes State/Province This legislation authorizes the Public Service Commission to promulgate regulations related to investor owned utilities in South Carolina, and addresses service areas, rates and charges, and operating procedures for these entities.
Enterprise Zone Retraining Credit Program (South Carolina) South Carolina Enterprise Zone
Training/Technical Assistance
Yes State/Province The Enterprise Zone Retraining Credit Program is a discretionary incentive that helps existing industries maintain their competitive edge and retain their existing workforce by allowing them to claim a Retraining Credit for existing production employees. If approved for the Enterprise Zone Retraining Credit, companies can reimburse themselves up to 50% of approved training costs for eligible production workers (not to exceed $500 per person per year). This program is also overseen by the Coordinating Council for Economic Development.
Forestry Policies (South Carolina) South Carolina Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province South Carolina's Forestry industry is one of the largest contributors to the State's economy. Wood residues, among other biomass resources, are used by several co-gen and electricity generators in the state. The South Carolina Forestry Commission manages the State's forest lands:

www.state.sc.us/forest/

The South Carolina Biomass Council (http://www.scbiomass.org) was created in 2006 by the South Carolina Energy Office, to increase biomass energy and products in South Carolina. The Energy office issued the report "Biomass Energy Potential in South Carolina", reviewing the technologies and existing resources and biomass energy facilities in the state: http://www.scbiomass.org/Resources/Documents/Biomass%20Conspectus%208-5-08.pdf

In 2008 The Energy Freedom and Rural Development Act was generated by recommendations from the South Carolina Biomass Council, and put in place several tax credits and incentives for Biomass energy including a 25 percent tax credit for production equipment costs as well as a separate 25 percent credit for equipment used to create power from biomass fuels. http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess117_2007-2008/bills/3649.htm

The USFS's 2009 report "Assessing the Potential for Biomass Energy Development in South Carolina" discusses the different biomass resources and associated energy potential for the State, in terms of unutilized forest wood residues. The report includes and economic analysis of fuel prices and returns on processing and harvesting equipment investments:

http://www.scbiomass.org/Resources/Documents/potential%20for%20biomass%20energy%20dev%20scfc%202009.pdf
Gas, Heat, Water, Sewerage Collection and Disposal, and Street Railway Companies (South Carolina) South Carolina Generating Facility Rate-Making
Siting and Permitting
Yes State/Province This legislation applies to public utilities and entities furnishing natural gas, heat, water, sewerage, and street railway services to the public. The legislation addresses rates and services, exemptions, investigations, and records. Article 4 (58-5-400 et seq.) of this legislation is the Natural Gas Rate Stabilization Act, which directly addresses rates for natural gas service, and Article 9 (58-5-900 et seq.) is the South Carolina Gas Safety Act of 1970. The Public Service Commission has the authority to implement regulations regarding fees and services provided by these entities.
Groundwater Use and Reporting Act (South Carolina) South Carolina Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The Department of Health and Environmental Control has established a groundwater management program, requiring entities withdrawing in excess of three million gallons during any one month to obtain a permit, register water sources, and report use. The Department is responsible for monitoring and assessing groundwater withdrawals, and for developing a state groundwater management plan. Some exemptions, including for emergency withdrawals, apply.
Hazardous Substances Act (South Carolina) South Carolina Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture has the authority to promulgate regulations declaring specified substances to be hazardous and establishing labeling, transportation, storage, and disposal requirements for such substances.
Interconnection Guidelines (South Carolina) South Carolina Interconnection Yes State/Territory The South Carolina Public Service Commission (PSC) adopted simplified interconnection guidelines for small distributed generation (DG) in December 2006. These guidelines address renewable-energy systems and other forms of DG up to 20 kilowatts (kW) in capacity for residential systems, and up to 100 kW for non-residential systems. Provisions for three-phase generators are not included.

South Carolina's interconnection guidelines apply to three of the state's four investor-owned utilities -- Progress Energy, Duke Energy and South Carolina Electric and Gas. The fourth utility, Lockhart Power, is not subject to the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA).

There is a $100 application fee for residential systems and a $250 application fee for non-residential systems. Utilities may not require residential customers to carry liability insurance beyond the amount required by a standard homeowner's policy ($100,000 minimum coverage), but non-residential generators are required to carry comprehensive general liability insurance ($300,000 minimum coverage). Generators are responsible only for upgrade and improvement costs associated directly with a system's interconnection, but these costs may be determined by utilities. Utilities are prohibited from imposing indirect fees and charges. The guidelines include a mutual-indemnification requirement.

A redundant external disconnect switch is required, and the capacity of all interconnected generation is generally limited to a maximum of 2% of rated circuit capacity. Utilities must file semi-annual reports with the PSC detailing the number of interconnection requests approved and denied, and the reasons for any denial. There are no procedures for dispute resolution.
Interstate Mining Compact Commission (multi-state) Alabama
Arkansas
Illinois
Indiana
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Missouri
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
West Virginia
Safety and Operational Guidelines
Siting and Permitting
Yes State/Province The Interstate Mining Compact is a multi-state governmental agency / organization that represents the natural resource and related environmental protection interests of its member states. Currently, 23 states are members to the compact, and 6 additional states are associate members. The compact is administered by the Interstate Mining Compact Commission, which does not possess regulatory powers but “provides a forum for interstate action and communication on issues of concern to the member states” and thus aids the development of effective regulatory programs and environmental protection initiatives. The Commission exercises several powers on behalf of the states, all of which are of a study, recommendatory or consultative nature. The Commission does not possess regulatory powers, as some Compacts do. The Commission provides a forum for interstate action and communication on issues of concern to the member states. It is the potential to stimulate the development and production of each state's mineral wealth through effective regulatory programs that draws many of the states together in the prosecution of the Commission's work. Given the environmental sensitivities associated with this objective, a significant portion of the Commission's work is dedicated to the environmental protection issues naturally associated with this mineral development. It is the significant value and clout that comes from "compacting" together and speaking with a strong, united voice that can make a difference in each state's efforts to implement effective regulatory programs that will conserve natural resources and secure a vibrant state (and thus national) mineral economy.
Ionizing Radiation Injury (South Carolina) South Carolina Safety and Operational Guidelines Yes State/Province This legislation applies to employers that have more than one employee who engages in activities which involve the presence of ionizing radiation. Employers with less than three employees can choose to opt out of this legislation. The legislation contains provisions for the treatment and compensation of injuries obtained from ionizing radiation, and addresses the responsibility of employees and employers.
Job Development Credit (South Carolina) South Carolina Corporate Tax Incentive Yes State/Province A Job Development Credit (JDC) is a performance-based incentive that rebates a portion of new employees' withholding taxes that can be used to address the specific needs of individual companies. JDCs are approved on a case-by-case basis by the S.C. Coordinating Council for Economic Development. To qualify, a company must meet certain business requirements and the amount a company receives depends on the company's pay structure and location.
Job Tax Credit (South Carolina) South Carolina Corporate Tax Incentive Yes State/Province The Job Tax Credit (JTC) is a statutory incentive offered to companies, both existing and new, that create new jobs in the state. The credit is available to companies that establish or expand corporate headquarters, manufacturing, distribution, processing, qualified service-related, research and development facilities. This credit is extremely beneficial for companies, because it is a credit against corporate income taxes, which can eliminate 50% of a company's liability.
Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act (South Carolina) South Carolina Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province The Department of Natural Resources is responsible for investigating and collecting information on nongame wildlife related to population, distribution, habitat, needs, limiting factors, and other biological and ecological data in order to issue regulations and implement management programs to protect wildlife. More information can be found in the DNR SC Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Species Inventory (http://www.dnr.sc.gov/species/index.html), the SC Managed Lands inventory (https://www.dnr.sc.gov/mlands/lookup/), and the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (http://www.dnr.sc.gov/cwcs/index.html).
Oil and Gas Exploration, Drilling, Transportation, and Production (South Carolina) South Carolina Environmental Regulations
Siting and Permitting
Yes State/Province This legislation prohibits the waste of oil or gas and the pollution of water, air, or land. The Department of Health and Environmental Control is authorized to implement regulations designed to prevent the waste of oil and gas, promote environmental stewardship, and regulate the exploration, extraction, and production of oil and gas resources. Permits are required for exploration and production, and all provisions for exploration and production of oil and gas also apply to geothermal resources to the extent possible.
Palmetto Clean Energy (PaCE) Program (South Carolina) South Carolina Performance-Based Incentive Yes Non-Profit Note: For a limited time, generators of 6 kilowatts or less of renewable energy can now take advantage of a premium $0.10 per kilowatt hour. This premium is available on a first-come-first-serve basis to generators of solar, wind, hydro or biomass-based electricity.

The Palmetto Clean Energy (PaCE) Program, a green-power program designed to encourage the use of renewable energy in South Carolina, currently offers premium payments for electricity generated by customer-owned, grid-tied solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and small-scale hydropower systems. A collaborative effort among Duke Energy, Progress Energy, South Carolina Electric and Gas Company, the South Carolina Energy Office and the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff created PaCE in 2007, and the program was launched in April 2008. Premium payments supplement utility payments provided under renewable generator-utility power purchase agreements.* Prospective generators should contact PaCE to find out the current requirements. One block of green power costs $4 and supports approximately 100 kWh of renewable energy generation.

PaCE funding comes from the customers of participating utilities who voluntarily choose to support the program through an additional charge on their monthly utility bills. Of the $4, $3 goes to the generators and $1 goes to PaCE for marketing the program. The utilities collect these customer contributions and remit the funds to PaCE, a non-profit corporation, to administer the program. All PaCE approvals of renewable generator applications, and premium payments, are subject to sufficient funding. This program is modeled on a similar program -- NC GreenPower -- in neighboring North Carolina.

* Contact the South Carolina Energy Office or a participating utility to determine the current types of generators supported by this program. Payments provided through power purchase agreements to renewable generators depend on the time of day and season; in general, they are highest at peak hours during the summer months. These rate payments vary by utility, as do the associated administrative fees and/or other charges imposed.
Pollution Control Act (South Carolina) South Carolina Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province This Act declares the maintenance of reasonable standards of purity of air and water to be the public policy of the state. The Act authorizes the Department of Health and Environmental Control to promulgate regulations and take other actions necessary to abate, control and prevent pollution. More information on air quality can be found here: http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/baq/Regulation-SIPManagement/ and more information on water quality can be found here: http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/water/wq_standard.htm
Pollution Control Facilities (South Carolina) South Carolina Bond Program
Loan Program
Yes State/Province For the purpose of this legislation, pollution control facilities are defined as any facilities designed for the elimination, mitigation or prevention of air or water pollution, including all facilities required to collect, treat and thereafter dispose of waste originating due to any industrial enterprise. Pollution control facilities may include facilities designed both for water and air pollution. Facilities may be constructed as part of, and may include, facilities also designed for the recovery of chemicals or to serve some other purpose, but which also contribute to the elimination, mitigation or prevention of air or water pollution. This legislation empowers counties and incorporated municipalities to issue loans or bonds for pollution control facilities or otherwise assist with the operation, maintenance, or improvement of such facilities.
Progress Energy - Net Metering (South Carolina) South Carolina Net Metering Yes Utility In August 2009, the South Carolina Public Service Commission issued an order mandating net metering be made available by the regulated electric utilities; the order incorporates a net metering settlement signed by the individual interveners, the Office of Regulatory Staff and the three investor-owned utilities (IOUs). The order detailed the terms of net metering, including ownership of RECs, in South Carolina and standardized the structure of net metering programs offered by the IOUs.

Progress Energy designed two net-metering options for its South Carolina customers. These options are available to Progress customers operating photovoltaic (PV) systems, wind turbines, biomass-fueled, or small hydro-electric systems.

Any customer net excess generation (NEG) is credited to the customer's next bill at the utility's retail rate, and then surrendered to the utility (annually) on May 31. Under one net-metering option, customers must switch to a time-of-use (TOU) tariff that incorporates potentially high demand charges into its fee structure. Under the second option, customers pay an additional monthly fee to net meter. These tariffs involve additional charges that do not apply to customers who do not net meter.

Systems must conform to Progress Energy's Standard for Interconnecting Small Generation 100 kW or Less with Electric Power Systems. For more information, see the utility's program web site.
Progress Energy Carolinas - SunSense Commercial PV Incentive Program (South Carolina) South Carolina Performance-Based Incentive No Utility This program is currently fully subscribed and is no longer accepting 2012 applications. The program is expected to open for 2013 application period in early December 2012.

Progress Energy Carolinas (PEC) offers incentives to non-residential customers in North Carolina and South Carolina for installing photovoltaic (PV) systems. PEC will pay $0.15/kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the electricity and renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the PV system for a period of at least 20 years. Participating systems may not net meter. Participants must sell all the electricity and RECs generated by the system, and purchase all the electricity their facilities consume. The RECs will help PEC meet the requirements of North Carolina's Renewables and Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS).

To be eligible for this incentive, PV systems must be installed in North Carolina or South Carolina on real property owned by a non-residential customer of PEC, and they must have a nameplate capacity from 11 kW (DC) to 500 kW (DC). Annual program participation is limited to 5 MW DC. Systems owned and operated by a third-party on a PEC customer's property are also eligible. To participate, PEC customers must first submit an application. PEC maintains sole discretion to accept, accept with conditions, or reject any application for any reason. If the application is approved, PEC will provide the applicant with a program contract. System owner must execute an interconnection agreement and PEC will set a separate meter to register the generation.
Qualifying RPS State Export Markets (South Carolina) South Carolina Renewables Portfolio Standards and Goals Yes State/Province This entry lists the states with Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) policies that accept generation located in South Carolina as eligible sources towards their RPS targets or goals. For specific information with regard to eligible technologies or other restrictions which may vary by state, see the RPS policy entries for the individual states, shown below in the Authority listings. Typically energy must be delivered to an in-state utility or Load Serving Entity, and often only a portion of compliance targets may be met by out-of-state generation. In addition to geographic and energy delivery requirements, ownership, registry, and other requirements may apply, such as resource eligibility, generator vintage and capacity limitations, as well as limits on Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) vintage. The listing applies to RPS Main Tiers only, and excludes solar or distributed generation that may require interconnection only within the RPS state. This assessment is based on energy delivery requirements and reasonable transmission availability. Acceptance of unbundled RECs varies. There may be additional sales opportunities in RPS states outside the Eastern Interconnection. REC prices in markets with voluntary goals (North Dakota, South Dakota) may be lower.
Regional Districts, Commissions, and Authorities (South Carolina) South Carolina Siting and Permitting Yes Local This legislation establishes a number of regional districts, commissions, and authorities with the power to implement regulations and development plans for protected park and recreational areas.
Renewable Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit (South Carolina) South Carolina Industry Recruitment/Support Yes State/Territory South Carolina offers a ten percent income tax credit to the manufacturers of renewable energy operations* for tax years 2010 through 2015.


In order to qualify, a business must:


  • manufacture renewable energy systems and components in South Carolina for solar, wind, geothermal, or other renewable energy uses
  • invest a minimum of $50 million in a Tier IV county, $100 million in a Tier III county, $150 million in a Tier II county, and at least $200 million in a Tier I county in new qualifying plant and equipment expenditures the year the tax credit is claimed
  • create one full-time job that pays 125% of the state's annual median wage for every $1 million in capital investment qualifying for the credit
  • qualifying jobs must pay at least one hundred twenty-five percent of this State's average annual median wage as defined by the Department of Commerce

A taxpayer's total credit cannot exceed $500,000 for any year and $5 million total for all years. Unused credits may be carried forward for fifteen years after the tax year in which a qualified expenditure was made. The tax credit is nonrefundable.


Applicants must file a request for the credit to the State Energy Office (SEO) by January 31 for expenses incurred the previous tax year. Qualifying expenditures** must be certified by the SEO. The SEO is required to notify applicant of approval and approved credit amount by the following March. Tax credit cannot be combined with any other state tax incentive.


*"Renewable energy operations" are limited to manufacturers of systems and components that are used or useful in manufacturing renewable energy equipment for the generation, storage, testing and research and development, and transmission or distribution of electricity from renewable sources, including specialized packaging for the renewable energy equipment manufactured at the facility.


    • "Qualifying investment" means investment in land, buildings, machinery, and fixtures for expansion of an existing facility or establishment of a new facility in South Carolina. Qualifying investment does not include relocating an existing facility in South Carolina to another location in the State without additional capital investment.
River Basins Advisory Commissions (South Carolina) South Carolina Environmental Regulations Yes Local The Catawba/Wateree and Yadkin/Pee Dee River Basins Advisory Commissions are permanent public bodies jointly established by North and South Carolina. The commissions are responsible for assessing water quality via studies based on existing data from other agencies in the river basins and providing guidance and recommendations to local, state, regional, and federal governmental and administrative bodies regarding environmental stewardship and appropriate use and development of the river basins.
SCE&G - Net Metering (South Carolina) South Carolina Net Metering Yes Utility In August 2009, the South Carolina Public Service Commission issued an order mandating net metering be made available by the regulated electric utilities; the order incorporates a net metering settlement signed by the individual interveners, the Office of Regulatory Staff and the three investor-owned utilities (IOUs). The order detailed the terms of net metering, including ownership of RECs, in South Carolina and standardized the structure of net metering programs offered by the IOUs.

South Carolina Electric and Gas (SCE&G) designed two net-metering options for its South Carolina customers. These options are available to SCE&G customers operating photovoltaic (PV) systems, wind turbines, biomass systems or small hydro-electric systems

Customer net excess generation (NEG) is credited to the customer's next bill at the utility's retail rate, and then surrendered to the utility annually on June 1st. Under one net-metering option, customers must switch to a time-of-use (TOU) tariff that incorporates potentially high demand charges into its fee structure. Under the second option, customers pay an additional monthly fee to net meter. These tariffs involve additional charges that do not apply to customers who do not net meter.

Systems must conform to the Standard for Interconnecting Small Generation 100 kW or Less with Electric Power Systems. For more information, see the utility's program web site.
Sales Tax Exemption for Hydrogen Fuel Cells (South Carolina) South Carolina Sales Tax Incentive Yes State/Territory South Carolina offers a sales tax exemption for "any device, equipment, or machinery operated by hydrogen or fuel cells, any device, equipment or machinery used to generate, produce, or distribute hydrogen and designated specifically for hydrogen applications or for fuel cell applications, and any device, equipment, or machinery used predominantly for the manufacturing of, or research and development involving hydrogen or fuel cell technologies."

A sales tax exemption may also be taken on building materials used to construct a new or renovated building or purchases of machinery for a research district. A research district is defined as land owned by the state, county or other public entity that is designated by the University of South Carolina, Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina, South Carolina State University or the Savannah River National Laboratory. If the exemption is taken on building materials, however, the amount of sales tax that would be assessed without the exemption must be re-invested by the taxpayer in hydrogen or fuel cell machinery or equipment in the same research district within two years of the original purchase.
Santee Cooper - Renewable Energy Resource Loans (South Carolina) South Carolina Utility Loan Program Yes Utility Santee Cooper offers low-interest loans to residential customers who have a licensed contractor install photovoltaic (PV) systems, wind energy systems, micro-hydropower systems, biomass energy systems, or solar water heaters. Participation in the utility's "net billing" program is not required, but customers may opt to participate in that program.*

The maximum loan amount is $40,000, and the maximum term is 10 years. Under Santee Cooper's "net billing" program, a renewable-energy system may not exceed the estimated maximum monthly kilowatt (kW) demand of the residence or 20 kW, whichever is less. A home energy audit is required prior to the purchase and installation of a system, and customers must submit an interconnection application to Santee Cooper prior to installation.

* The term "net billing" is often confused with "net metering." In general, net billing is less favorable to customers than net metering. Santee Cooper does not offer net metering.
Soil and Water Conservation Districts (South Carolina) South Carolina Environmental Regulations Yes Local Soil and Water Conservation Districts are local governmental subdivisions of the state of South Carolina, established to provide for land and water conservation and prevent erosion in the state. Soil and Water Conservation Districts may be established by petition of any 25 owners of land lying in the territory of the proposed district; petitions are subject to approval by the Department of Natural Resources. Districts are authorized to establish local rules and regulations pertaining to water and land use and development, and may be assisted in their projects by the Department. For a detailed description of district powers, see S.C. Code section 48-9-1270. Watershed Conservation Districts may also be established within Soil and Water Conservation Districts to aid with plans or programs related to the control or prevention of soil erosion or flooding; the conservation, protection, improvement, development, or utilization of soil and water resources; stormwater management; or the disposal of water. This Act largely succeeds the Erosion and Sediment Reduction Act of 1983, which calls on Soil and Water Conservation Districts to perform similar functions and regulate activities that may disturb land and contribute to erosion.
Solid Waste Disposal Resource Recovery Facilities Act (South Carolina) South Carolina Industry Recruitment/Support
Bond Program
Yes Local This legislation authorizes local governing bodies to form joint agencies to advance the collection, transfer, processing of solid waste, recovery of resources, and sales of recovered resources in South Carolina. Joint agencies may undertake the planning, financing, development, acquisition, purchase, construction, reconstruction, improvement, enlargement, ownership, sale, lease, operation or maintenance of such projects.
South Carolina Conservation Bank Act (South Carolina) South Carolina Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province The South Carolina Conservation Bank Act establishes a state funding source to acquire property interests for environmental preservation purposes. The Bank's activity draws heavily on the earlier Conservation Easement Act, and the bank's website contains a map of protected properties throughout the state.
South Carolina Hazardous Waste Management Act (South Carolina) South Carolina Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The Department of Health and Environmental Control is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to prevent exposure of persons, animals, or the environment to hazardous waste. The construction, alteration, and operation of a hazardous waste treatment, storage, or disposal facility, as well as the transportation of hazardous waste, requires a permit from the Department. This legislation contains further provisions relevant to the permitting and operation of such facilities, and authorizes the Department to levy fees on generators of hazardous waste. The Act also establishes the Hazardous Waste Management Research Fund, which is used to finance research on projects and new or emerging technologies that may have a direct and positive impact on waste minimization and reduction in South Carolina.
South Carolina Mining Act (South Carolina) South Carolina Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province The South Carolina Mining Act seeks to offer the greatest practical degree of protection and restoration to usefulness, productivity, and scenic values of all SC lands and waters involved in mining. The Act establishes that no mining may be carried on in the State unless plans for the mining include reasonable provisions for protection of the surrounding environment and for reclamation of the affected land area. The Act authorizes the Department of Health and Environmental Control to enact and implement regulations pertaining to mining operations. All exploration activities must have a certificate of exploration issued by the Department, and permits from the Department are likewise required prior to the beginning of any mining operation.
South Carolina Municipalities - Green Power Purchasing (South Carolina) South Carolina Green Power Purchasing Yes Local Santee Cooper's Green Power Program was launched in September of 2001. All of the state's 20 electric cooperatives and the City of Georgetown participate in the Green Power Program, which is Green-e accredited. The renewable resources sold under the Green Power Program are comprised of 99% landfill gas (methane) and less than 1% solar energy.

Santee Cooper is currently using landfill gas (methane) to produce electricity at six facilities in South Carolina: Horry Solid Waste Authority, Lee County Landfill, Richland County C and D Landfill, Anderson Regional Landfill, Berkley County Landfill, and Georgetown County Landfill. Currently, the Horry Landfill produces 3.3 megawatts (MW), the Lee County Landfill produces 10.9 MW, and both the Berkley County and the Anderson Landfill produces 3.2 MW of power each. The Richland Landfill (operated by Waste Management) produces 8.7 MW, and the Georgetown County Landfill produces 1 MW, for a total generation output of 30 MW. For more information on these projects, see Santee Cooper's landfill gas webpage. Santee Cooper also has solar energy projects at 20 schools across South Carolina. In 2006, Santee Cooper dedicated the first solar green power site in South Carolina at Coastal Carolina University. For more information on these projects, see Santee Cooper's solar webpage.In November 2010, Santee Cooper became the first South Carolina utility to install a wind turbine and connect it to the grid. The 2.4 kilowatts (kW) wind turbine, located oceanfront in North Myrtle Beach, produces about 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per month in optimal conditions, which would power about 40 percent of a typical residential household. For more information on this project, see Santee Cooper's wind webpage.

Participating residential customers are able to purchase this green power for $3 per 100 kWh block. Commercial participants are able to purchase the power for $6 per 200 kWh block.
South Carolina Radioactive Waste Transportation and Disposal Act (South Carolina) South Carolina Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The Department of Health and Environmental Control is responsible for regulating the transportation of radioactive waste, with some exceptions, into or within the state for storage, disposal, or delivery. The Act requires transporters to obtain a permit from the Department, and addresses notification requirements and fees.
South Carolina Scenic Rivers Act (South Carolina) South Carolina Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The goal of the Scenic Rivers Act is to protect selected rivers or river segments of the State with outstanding scenic, recreational, geologic, botanical, fish, wildlife, historic, or cultural values. The program allows for three categories of rivers – natural, scenic, and recreational – that call for varying levels of restrictions on water and land use of the river area. The Act contains procedural information on designating rivers, and the website of the Department of Natural Resources contains more information about the ten river segments that have been designated thus far.
South Carolina Solid Waste Policy and Management Act (South Carolina) South Carolina Environmental Regulations
Grant Program
Yes State/Province The state of South Carolina supports a regional approach to solid waste management and encourages the development and implementation of alternative waste management practices and resource recovery. The Department of Health and Environmental Control is authorized to oversee solid waste management systems throughout the state and to promulgate regulations related to solid waste. This Act establishes the Solid Waste Management Trust Fund, which is designed to finance research by state-supported educational institutions or by private entities under contract with state-supported educational institutions on solid waste management technologies; demonstration projects or pilot programs to be conducted by local governments, schools, and universities; and the Solid Waste Management Grant Program, which provides grants to municipalities to implement waste management programs or facilities. This legislation contains additional provisions pertaining to the operation and closure of landfills and other waste disposal facilities.
South Carolina Surface Water Withdrawal, Permitting Use, and Reporting Act (South Carolina) South Carolina Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province Surface water withdrawals exceeding three million gallons during any one month require a permit; a permit will only be granted if the Department of Health and Environmental Control determines that the proposed water use is reasonable. Some exemptions, including for emergency withdrawals, instream mining operations, and hydropower generation, apply. This legislation contains information on permitting, registration, and reporting requirements, and addresses interbasin water transfer, construction notices, and temporary permits.
Southern States Energy Compact (Multiple States) Alabama
Arkansas
Florida
Georgia
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Mississippi
Missouri
North Carolina
Oklahoma
Puerto Rico
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
United States Virgin Islands
Virginia
West Virginia
Industry Recruitment/Support
Environmental Regulations
Yes State/Province The Southern States Energy Compact provides for the proper employment and conservation of energy, and for the employment of energy-related facilities, materials, and products, within the context of a responsible regard for the environment, among the Southeastern states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Southern States Energy Board is responsible for administering the Compact and may adopt bylaws, rules, and regulations in conjunction with state agencies. The Board also encourages the development, conservation, and responsible use of energy and energy-related facilities, installations, and products as part of a balanced economy and a healthy environment.
Special Provisions Affecting Gas, Water, or Pipeline Companies (South Carolina) South Carolina Generating Facility Rate-Making
Siting and Permitting
Yes State/Province This legislation confers the rights and privileges of telegraph and telephone companies (S.C. Code 58-9) on pipeline and water companies, and contains several additional provisions pertaining to the operation of water and gas companies.
Stormwater Management and Sediment Reduction Act (South Carolina) South Carolina Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province This Act sets general restrictions and permitting requirements on activities with the potential to disturb land and therefore contribute to erosion and sediment and alter stormwater runoff. Prior to engaging in such activities, persons must submit a stormwater management and sediment control plan to the Department of Health and Environmental Control or another appropriate implementing agency and receive a permit to proceed. Certain activities – such as emergency maintenance, underground placement of electricity and gas transmission lines, and activities conducted with alternative permits – are exempt from this provision and other portions of this Act.
Utility Facility Siting and Environmental Protection Act (South Carolina) South Carolina Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province This legislation applies to electric generating plants and associated facilities designed for or capable of operation at a capacity of more than 75 MW. A certificate from the Public Service Commission is required prior to the construction of such facilities. Some exemptions, including for hydroelectric generating facilities licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, apply.
Water Resources Planning and Coordination Act (South Carolina) South Carolina Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The Department of Natural Resources is responsible for formulating and establishing a comprehensive water resources policy for the State, developing and establishing policies and programs to resolve problems of water resource use, reviewing state and federal projects relevant to water resource use, and developing recommendations for water legislation. In performing its duties, the Department of Natural resources will give consideration to the need for adequate water resources for residential, industrial, and commercial needs, hydropower development, and watershed protection. Regulatory authority regarding water resources is granted to the Department of Health and Environmental Control by this Act.