COLUMBIA, SC One of the nation’s leading solar companies has opened an office in Columbia, two years after the Legislature changed the state’s solar laws to encourage growth of the industry in South Carolina.
Sunrun Inc. held a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday in the Capital City. The new office includes a warehouse for equipment to help make delivery of solar panels faster, spokeswoman Becky Loya said. The Columbia office is the company’s first in South Carolina, although Sunrun has plans to open an office in Greenville soon, Loya said. The company has been operating in South Carolina since last year.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., spoke at the event Monday. State Rep. James Smith, a Columbia Democrat and solar energy supporter, said the presence of companies like Sunrun shows that the change in South Carolina law is paying off.
“We made a unique and positive step when we passed our solar law,’’ Smith said.
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In 2014, the Legislature eased restrictions that had made it difficult for solar companies to operate in South Carolina. The state’s utilities had complained about competition from solar energy companies. But a compromise was struck between solar boosters and power companies that led to the change in law.
Sunrun, founded in 2007 and headquartered in California, says it is the largest dedicated residential solar company in the United States. Among other services, the company leases solar panels to homeowners. Leasing often is seen as a more affordable option to establishing solar on people’s homes. The company says its lease arrangements allow customers to save money on power bills.