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Furman University Is Building a $1.7 Million Solar Farm

Solar Energy Use in South Carolina Is Surging As A Result Of A State Law Enacted In 2014

Work is underway at Furman University in Greenville on a large solar farm sited on five acres of land at the main entrance to campus.  It’s the latest step in Furman’s goal of using renewable energy to become a carbon-neutral campus in ten years.

Jeff Redderson.  head of Furman’s facilities and campus services, says when the new solar farm comes on line next year it will move the university closer to  closer reaching its’ carbon-neutral goal by 2026, when Furman celebrates its 200th anniversary.

Furman’s new $1.7 million solar farm is expected to produce 743- kW of power, and reduce its’ electricity use by five percent.  Furman already has a number of solar arrays on campus, and the new solar farm will be the most ambitious college campus project in the state.

Dr. Wes Dripps, Director of the Shi Center for Sustainability, says from the academic side of things Furman wants to leverage the existence of the large solar farm into what he terms the “ethos” of the University.

Duke Energy is providing Furman technical assistance with the new solar farm, and actually plans to pay Furman a $1 million rebate when the farm becomes operational.
A new state law enacted in 2014 is causing the use of solar energy to surge in South Carolina.


Russ McKinney has 30 years of experience in radio news and public affairs. He is a former broadcast news reporter in Spartanburg, Columbia and Atlanta. He served as Press Secretary to former S.C. Governor Dick Riley for two terms, and for 20 years was the chief public affairs officer for the University of South Carolina.