York County is now taking historic steps to leaving ‘the grid’, and becoming a truly ‘green’ county.
In 2004 York Electric Cooperative began to offer residents the ability to buy green power, electricity generated from renewable resources such as methane gas, solar power, or wind power. For $3 residents were able to buy a 100-kilowatt block of green power (about 10 percent of a homes average monthly usage).
In 2008 Fort Mill took a step toward being green by having a 2-kilowatt solar panel array installed at the Springfield Middle School. Fort Mill has installed panels at Clover Middle School.
In 2011, York County took another step by offering a solar water heating program.
In 2014 York Electric Cooperative installed four large solar panel arrays outside of its offices near Fort Mill that will generate enough electricity to meet about half of all energy needs.
South Carolina has also just passed some new sustainable energy laws, that will require private utilities to get 2 percent of their average five-year peak power from the sun. The new laws will also allow people to lease solar panels, cutting the initial costs of installation.
The numbers are starting to make financial sense for more and more homeowners and government agencies especially with federal and state tax credits that can cut the cost of a system by more than half.
York County in partnership with York Electric Cooperative has their sites set on a very green future. They have even recently seen local residents interested in installing an entire solar farm in York County with private funds. York Electric Cooperative has also expressed interest in the construction of a solar farm of its own at one of its substations.