A Kansas-based solar company announced Feb. 14 it is going to build its second 75-megawatt solar farm in Orangeburg County.

Tradewind Energy said it will build an $89 million solar production facility on approximately 1,000 acres south of the town of Bowman.

"The community has been very welcoming to solar energy, and we appreciate all the work of Orangeburg County and the State of South Carolina for helping create new opportunities for economic development through the Bowman Solar Project," Tradewind Energy Senior Development Manager Justin McGeeney said in a press release.

Projected to come online by early 2020, the solar farm will generate enough power for 15,000 homes.

The company has approximately 2,000 acres under lease with private property owners, but will only use a maximum of 1,000 acres for the farm.

"We are committed to working with companies that provide reliable and increasingly cleaner sources of energy, and solar power is becoming a more important part of energy diversity," Orangeburg County Council Chairman Johnnie Wright Sr. said.

"We are grateful for the continued investment that Tradewind Energy contributes to our county,” he said.

No new permanent jobs will be created, although people will be employed to construct and maintain the solar farm.

County officials had previously discussed the project under the code name Project Bowman.

Orangeburg County Council approved fee-in-lieu of taxes incentives for the project. It also agreed to place the project in a joint industrial park with Dorchester County.

The joint county industrial park is a mechanism designed to provide an industry with additional incentives. There is no physical park.

The facility is expected to bring in tax revenue of $225,000 a year for 30 years.

"South Carolina is a place where companies of every kind can succeed and grow," Gov. Henry McMaster said. "The fact that Tradewind Energy has decided to invest $89 million and continues to call our great state home is an important signal to the world that South Carolina is open for business."

S.C. Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said the state is “blazing a trail in the renewable energy generation markets.”

"I congratulate this innovative company on further growing their operations in South Carolina and look forward to what the future has in store for Orangeburg County,” he said.

Central S.C. Alliance Chairman Mike Brenan said the expansion announcement is a “testament to the value and growth potential of the county.”

"We are excited to welcome another investment by this great company and to support the clean, affordable production of energy within the Central S.C. footprint," he said.

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Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.


Staff Writer

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

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