18-acre solar farm coming to Kershaw’s industrial park

Kershaw’s industrial park likely will get its first tenant, after the town council voted unanimously Wednesday to allow a solar-panel farm to be built on 18 acres in Kershaw Commerce Park.
Cypress Creek Renewables (CCR), a national provider of local solar farms, approached the town June 9 asking for a minimum of 18 acres to be leased for at least 20 years at $1,000 per acre per year. The deal will bring the town $360,000 over the life of the contract.
The company said 55 acres in the industrial park met the criteria to be considered for a solar farm, which include topography and proximity to a power station.
After reviewing the proposal, council decided to lease CCR 18 acres in the 124-acre Kershaw Commerce Park.
“This is a good opportunity,” said Mayor Mark Dorman. “They’re the first ones in (the park), and we welcome them. There will be some employees there.”
CCR spokesman Jeff McKay said the company is working to bring the benefits of local solar power generation to residents throughout South Carolina. Its plans for the Kershaw site are still preliminary and have not been finalized, he said.
“Our company is committed to helping grow the economies of local communities by providing renewable energy for homes and businesses,” McKay said.
Since the town was approached by CCR just a week ago, Dorman said some of the details haven’t been determined.
Council is unsure how many employees the solar farm will need, what the power will be used for and when the process will begin.
Dorman said the next step is to meet with Lancaster County economic development officials to set a timeline.
The park is a fully wooded area, and the 18 acres will need to meet code and be cleared before the process of installing panels begins, Dorman said.
At the end of the 20-year lease, CCR could give the town an option to extend the lease with option periods.
If the town chooses not to extend the lease, the equipment will be removed and the site will be left cleared.
The California-based company was founded in 2014 and now has 125 solar farms across the country, with over 4 gigawatts of local solar farms deployed or in development. Power from the solar farms leaves through poles with 3-phase electricity to the power lines already installed.

By Hannah L. Strong, Staff Reporter with The Lancaster News