$15M solar, agricultural project on tap for SC’s Richland County

·2 min read

A $15 million solar and agricultural project is taking shape in Lower Richland.

On Tuesday, Democratic state Rep. Jermaine Johnson, of Hopkins, and solar companies Fusion Renewable and iSun announced the project that will be on roughly 60 acres of land just off Martin Luther King Boulevard across from Hopkins Middle School. The announcement came in a news conference at St. John Baptist Church, which is near the project property.

Johnson said 20 to 40 jobs will be created by the project, which will also include at least five large greenhouses.

“A couple of the greenhouses will be operated under contractual agreements with different organic grocery stores,” Johnson said. “The project will help eliminate food deserts in South Carolina. The other greenhouses will be utilized for teaching opportunities, teaching young kids how to farm, teaching people how to garden and grow different things in the community and have sustainable development.”

A photo of a solar farm in Montgomery County, North Carolina. A solar farm and greenhouse facility is being planned for a 60-acre tract in Lower Richland.
A photo of a solar farm in Montgomery County, North Carolina. A solar farm and greenhouse facility is being planned for a 60-acre tract in Lower Richland.

The 60-plus acres of land are co-owned by Johnson’s Dream Team Consulting firm and Fusion Renewable, an international solar and real estate investment firm, Johnson said. Construction on the solar and agricultural project would start in summer 2022.

Daniel Dus, president of the iSun solar energy company that also is involved in the effort, said the project will produce enough energy to power nearly 3,000 homes.

“It will (produce that power) in a sustainable and green way,” Dus said. “We are going to use local contractors, and pay prevailing wages, better than living wages, and that’s all part of the spirit of this effort.”

Johnson said the energy harnessed at the Lower Richland solar site would be sold to power companies such asstate-owned Santee Cooper. Some of the money from those sales will be reallocated back to the Lower Richland community specifically for a emergency utility assistance fund.

“There will be the development of a program that will assist seniors and individuals in this Lower Richland community with helping to pay for utility bills when they cannot afford them,” Johnson said. “We want to strengthen our community, invest in our community members and help everybody specifically in this area.”

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