This project creates a replicable model for solar photovoltaic (PV) soft cost reduction in South Carolina through human capacity-building at the local level and direct efforts to harmonize policy at the inter-county or regional level. This effort will close the gap between South Carolina installed costs of residential rooftop solar and national averages and develop a portable and replicable model that can be applied to other jurisdictions in the future.
A team of 11 different organizations will work together to address training shortages of the South Carolina solar market. This study offers a unique perspective and understanding of the actual impact of the rapid integration of solar energy starting at a penetration of 0.1% and increasing to over 2%, while expanding access, developing regional specific training and educational materials, and developing datasets to support expanding solar markets. Through targeted tracking and analysis, the team will develop a baseline of the current market, identify the major obstacles in soft cost reduction, and cooperatively develop stakeholder-centric strategies.
The replicable model developed under this project will allow jurisdictions throughout South Carolina to strategically design and implement policies that are likely to have the largest and fastest effect on reducing regional soft costs, while providing extensive data that can be utilized by others to help make appropriate policy decisions to meet their needs. The model is expected to dramatically lower the soft costs in South Carolina, which are currently estimated to be at least 25% higher than the rest of the nation.