Solar power to fuel Bucksville’s economy, give HGTC students hands-on experience

Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 11:15 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - People living in the Bucksville community could soon get their power from the sun.

The Horry County Council approved plans for a new solar farm along Highway 701 Tuesday night.

A councilman said 2,000 homes will be powered by the solar farm to start, but that number could go up pretty quickly if they expand it as the county looks to get more energy-efficient.

Councilman Orton Bellamy hints this could be the start of a wave of new solar farms in the county, and the council hopes another project on the way could start a wave of new tech companies calling Horry County home.

“We’re very excited about the solar farm project,” Bellamy said. “It’s one of the first of this magnitude with 500 acres.”

500 acres filled with solar panels, powering thousands of homes, helping to “fuel” the economy in Bucksville.

“Over 20 years, you’re looking at $6 million in revenue,” said Bellamy. “With that revenue, we’re looking at building recreation facilities in the rural area of Horry County.”

The new solar farm will partner with HGTC to provide college students a chance to get some hands-on experience in the industry.

While solar panels will make their way into Bucksville, fiber optic cables may be on their way to Myrtle Beach.

The council unanimously voted in favor of a new data connection center in the Technology and Aerospace Park near the market common.

That center will run fiber optics underground and connect to a major outlet that runs from New York down to South America.

County leaders are already in talks with Google to fill the new facility, which now just needs one more vote in two weeks to be approved.

“That will be a great opportunity for other tech and network companies to move here to Horry County,” Bellamy said.

It looked like that solar farm would have more than 300 more homes to power right away right next door; however, a proposal to bring those homes to the other side of Highway 701 was kicked back Tuesday.

Bellamy said he plans to have a community meeting with the developer to come up with something that may be a better fit for Bucksville.

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