Solar Farm

RIBBON CUTTING AT SOLAR FARM - Gov. Henry McMaster was in Saluda Fri., Aug. 25, take part in the ribbon cutting at Saluda II Solar. Pictured, L to R, are Brenda Long; Charles Long; County Councilwoman Gwen Shealy; Rep. Cal Forrest; Councilman Frank Daniel; Zoé Gamble Hanes, president of Pine Gate Renewables; First Lady Peggy McMaster; Gov. McMaster; Danny Kassis, SCANA; Sen. Shane Massey; Coumnty Councilman Jones Butler; Charlie Long and his father Tyler Long. (Standard-Sentinel photo)

Governor Cuts Ribbon At Solar Farm

An appearance by S.C. Governor Henry McMaster highlighted the ribbon cutting at Saluda II Solar Fri., Aug. 25.
  Located on the Columbia on land and owned and operated by the family of the late Joe Long, the solar farm produces enough power to supply energy to 750 home in Saluda County.
  Developed over 46 acres, this 4.7 megawatt solar farm is one of 12 projects owned by Pine Gate Renewables in South Carolina.
  Facts About Saluda II 
  •$6.5 million investment 
  •Created 140 jobs for local workers during construction
  •More than $26,800 paid to taxing districts in Saluda County in the first year of operation. Tax revenue will help fund schools, fire district and other important county services.
  Among the many present for the ceremony were Joe and Mildred Long’s three children, the Rev. Joe “Nicky” Long, Carlene Temples, and Charles Long and their families.
  Zoé Gamble Hanes, president of Pine Gate Renewables, presided at the event.
  “It has been a great week for the sun,” she said, referring to Monday’s total eclipse.
  “Did you notice during the eclipse, when there was just a tiny sliver of the sun was showing, yet it was complete daylight outside,” she said. “That shows the power of the sun.”
  “Pine Gate Renewables is proud to bring clean, renewable energy resources to South Carolina as part of our commitment to Getting Solar Done. Our Saluda II Solar project is an investment in the local community and we look forward to continuing to expand the impact of utility-scale solar energy in the state.
  Tyler Long, grandson of Joe and Mildred, and son of Charles and Brenda Long, spoke on behalf of the family. He sad his family was very happy to be a part of a project that will provide a sustainable source of energy to local residents.
  Danny Kassis of SCE&G and SCANA said Saluda is the current “Solar Energy Capitol of South Carolina,” with Saluda I Solar on the Johnston Hwy. also in operation.
  Kassis said SCE&G is happy to buy the electricity produced by the solar panels, and this was just a start. He said Saluda II will be a 30-year asset to the community.
  Saluda County Council Vice Chairman Gwen Shealy said putting solar panels on farm land was a good use for the property, providing a clean energy source on facilities that have a low profile.
  Michelle Caldwell of USDA said her department was happy to be a part of the project.
  Gov. McMaster praised solar as a source of clean energy, with no pollution and little use of local infrastructure.
  “Pine Gate Renewables is just the latest company of many in the solar industry that have invested in South Carolina and our people, and we are proud to say that our state is poised to be on the cutting edge of an industry that will prove to be an important one to our country’s future.”
  McMaster said he joined with the president of Clemson and the University of South Carolina who said their were tired of hearing, “We are a poor state and can’t do anything.”
  He said there is plenty the state can do, and S.C. has gained attention worldwide.
  “We have 160 German companies in this state,” McMaster said.
  “Everybody wants to come to S.C., because we are known as a hand shake state, which means if we give you our word, we stand by it.”
  After the governor’s speech, a tibbon was cut in front of the panels, and guests were served refreshments and given a tour of the facility.
  While the panels on the Johnston Hwy. solar ar are stationary, the ones at Saluda II follow the sun during the day.

11th Annual Riverfest

The 11th Annual Riverfest is Saturday, Sept. 2,  from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Big Man’s Marina, Hwy 391, 125 Big Man’s Rd, Lake Murray. Featured will be the Kenny George Band on their Borrowed Trouble Tour, crafts, food vendors, Lake Murray T-shirts, kids slide & bounce houses, Pelican Ice and more. Tune into Z93.1 The Lake for more information. See you there.  (Standard-Sentinel photo from 2014 Riverfest)