Coronal Energy to invest $15 million in Florence County solar center

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Coronal Energy, an independent solar power and energy storage provider, announced Thursday plans for the construction of a new solar project in Florence County.

According to a news release, the Rankin Solar Center is projected to bring about $15 million of capital investment. This will be their first solar project in South Carolina.

Russ Edwards, vice president of development for Coronal Energy, said the company chose Florence County mainly because of the business-friendly community.

"We welcome them. We're all about business in Florence County," Florence County Council Chairman Kent Caudle said.

With a $15 million capital investment, the Rankin Solar Center will generate 10 megawatts of clean solar power, enough to power 2,000 homes annually.

"Well we're excited about it. It's an alternative energy source. It is renewable, has no fuel cost essentially," Caudle said.

Caudle said the project is yet another great addition to the county.

"There are, I think, eight different farms will be located around the county to produce these," he said.

The Florence County Economic Development Partnership says the solar projects create more revenue for the area and better use of farm lands.

"The regulations are much more streamline to building other plants. It doesn't have a negative environmental impact. If it does, it's very minor," Caudle said.

According to Caudle, that's why businesses in Florence County are following suit, with several using solar energy to power some of their facilities.

"General Electric has a big solar farm, Charles Ingram Lumber Company has one, McCall Farms has one," Caudle said.

Overall, Caudle said the solar project means a better environment for the area, as well as potentially attracting more business to the county.

"I think it's just another good, viable, alternative source of energy," he said.

Located off Corrie Farm Road, the new development is expected to come online in the fourth quarter of 2019.

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