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OPDE Group on Thursday announced plans to construct a state-of-the-art solar farm in Bamberg County.

The company, based in Spain, plans to invest approximately $63 million in this new operation, according to the S.C. Department of Commerce.

Solar farms typically do not result in the creation of any new jobs, but do require on average between 200 and 300 workers during the construction phase.

The OPDE Group develops and promotes photovoltaic solar power plants around the world, the press release states.

Since the company was established in 2005, OPDE has expanded in a number of renewable markets. At present, the company has a portfolio of more than one gigawatt of renewable energy projects worldwide.

“Bamberg County welcomes OPDE Group, and we are pleased that our county now has this clean energy resource," Bamberg County Council Chairman Clint Carter said in a press release. "Bamberg County Council supports innovation in energy production and manufacturing."

The OPDE Group solar farm will be the first to locate in Bamberg County.

“OPDE Group is thrilled to have the opportunity to bring new investment in clean, affordable, low-risk power to rural South Carolina," OPDE Group USA Managing Director Logan Stephens stated in the press release. "We look forward to continuing our work with South Carolina Electric & Gas, Bamberg County, the SouthernCarolina Regional Development Alliance, the S.C. Department of Commerce and local stakeholders to make this project a success."

 "The opportunity to improve and increase our economic footprint in Bamberg County is always a great thing," Bamberg County Economic Development Commission Chairman Craig Walker said. "Bamberg County offers prime sites for solar energy development, and we are excited to add this source of renewable energy to our growing industrial community."

The announcement received praise throughout the state and region.

S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster said OPDE's announcement is a "testament" to the state's being an "ideal business destination."

"We’re excited to add them to our portfolio of solar companies providing abundant, clean energy to power our state and our economy," McMaster said.

S.C. Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said, “We’ve worked hard to diversify South Carolina’s economy, and that includes supporting the renewable and sustainable energy industry. I’m excited to welcome an innovative company like OPDE Group to Team South Carolina.” 

"New technology in renewable energy will continue to change the landscape in our region and bring clean energy options to our area," SouthernCarolina Alliance Chairman Buddy Phillips said.

Bamberg County joins in the portfolio of solar farms announcing plans to locate in The T&D Region.

Orangeburg County has announced its plans to develop seven solar farms, and Calhoun County has announced plans to develop six solar farms within the county over the last three years.

The seven Oranegburg County solar farms have promised to invest a total of $475.5 million and provide 460 megawatts of power.

The six solar farms in Calhoun County have promised a total investment of at least $344 million and at least 298 megawatts of power.

For more information on OPDE Group, visit www.opde.net/en/.

Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Follow on Twitter @ZaleskiTD.

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Business Reporter

Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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