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South Carolina will let people lease equipment for solar energy

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in July (AP Photo/The Sun News, Charles Slate)

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) held a signing ceremony for a new law Thursday designed to encourage greater solar energy use in the state.

The law establishes a lease program and incentives for renewable energy equipment, including solar energy. The hope is that homeowners and businesses unwilling to front the cash for installation and equipment will be more receptive to leasing, the governor’s office said in a statement.

“When you look at North Carolina and you look at Georgia, they’ve been doing pretty well when it comes to solar energy, and they don’t have any more sun than we do,” Haley said at a press conference, according to the State.

The specifics of the bill are vague. Dukes Scott, executive director of the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff, told the Post the terms of the leases and other incentives will be decided by companies offering the equipment and the state Public Service Commission and be ready “not earlier than next summer.” The focus for the time being will be on solar energy, but the bill, he noted, could also include wind, biomass, and other forms of renewable energy.

“We think solar will be, at least for the time being, the principal benefactor,” he said.

The bill was formally signed in June after being passed unanimously by the South Carolina House and Senate.

Hunter Schwarz covers the intersection of politics and pop culture for the Washington Post

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