Charleston, SC — The South Carolina Ports Authority announced plans to bring solar power to the Wando Welch and Columbus Street terminals, making SCPA the largest rooftop solar host in the state and further enhancing the Port’s commitment to environmentally-responsible operations.
Two solar panel arrays generating 3.7 total megawatts of electricity will be installed on warehouse rooftops at the two SCPA terminals by summer 2016. The panels will provide a significant off-set to the Port’s energy usage, returning power to the grid during peak hours of energy demand and resulting in a direct reduction to SCPA’s power costs.
“The solar project is an exciting step that deepens the Port’s ongoing efforts to be an environmental leader in our industry,” said Pat McKinney, SCPA Board Chair. “The Board fully supports our staff’s recommendation of a rooftop lease agreement, which allows us to focus on our core business of running a port while still achieving both environmental and financial benefits.”
Under a 25-year rooftop lease agreement, the panels will be owned and maintained by SolBright Renewable Energy, LLC with no direct expense to SCPA. The panels are expected generate $1.5 million or more in profit for the SCPA over the life of the lease.
“The Port has a responsibility to operate in a matter that is both mindful of the environment and good for business,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA President and CEO. “The panels will be a highly visible reflection of our sustainability program, and we look forward to the overall positive environmental and economic benefits they will provide.”
About South Carolina Ports Authority
South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA), established by the state’s General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston, Georgetown and Greer, handling international commerce valued at more than $63 billion annually while receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy. An economic development engine for the state, Port operations facilitate 187,200 statewide jobs and generate nearly $53 billion annual economic activity. Home to the Southeast’s deepest port, SCPA is the industry leader in delivering speed-to-market, seamless processes and flexibility to ensure reliable operations, big ship handling, efficient market reach and environmental responsibility. For more information on SCPA, please visit www.scspa.com.
Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
SC Ports Authority