Strawberry Substation Solar

Introduction

The Strawberry Substation in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, has significantly advanced in sustainability by partnering with Alder Energy Systems LLC and the Berkeley Electric Cooperative. This partnership has led to the launch of Strawberry Substation’s first community solar farm, an initiative designed to reduce the community’s carbon footprint while providing accessible, leasable solar energy to the community. This case study explores the details of Strawberry Substation community solar garden, its system specifications, benefits, and the innovative technology driving this green initiative.

The Rise of Solar Energy

Solar energy has seen remarkable growth over the past decade as an eco-friendly power source. It has seen a 25% average annual growth rate. Community solar programs have emerged as a pivotal component of this growth, making solar energy accessible to a broader audience, including those who cannot install panels on their property due to logistical or regulatory barriers.

System Specifications

The Strawberry Substation community solar farm boasts impressive technical specifications. It has a 154 kW DC solar capacity with a 58kW / 232 kWh (4-hour) capacity using Tesla Powerpack Lithium-Ion batteries. The project features 369 high-efficiency solar panels, each designed to maximize energy production. These panels are strategically positioned to optimize solar capture throughout the day, contributing to the system’s overall effectiveness.

This ground-mounted solar array, combined with advanced battery storage, adds resiliency to the Berkeley Electric Cooperative’s grid. The system ensures that solar energy can be stored and used during peak demand, enhancing overall grid stability and efficiency.

Community Benefits Long Term

Community solar refers to groups of solar panels installed at a single location, providing a solar energy option for individuals without requiring them to install equipment on their property. Participants in a community solar program receive a credit on their electric bill for the energy generated by their portion of the solar garden.

So how do community solar farms work? Solar panels generate energy, which is then transferred to the grid. Subscribers lease a certain number of solar panels (or blocks of panels) from a community solar farm, like the Strawberry Substation. The energy produced by these leased panels is then credited to the subscribers’ energy bills, reflecting the savings from using solar energy. Community solar farms are ideal for people who can’t install solar panels on their own property, whether due to financial constraints or because they are renting their homes. 

Berkeley Electric Cooperative, the largest not-for-profit electric co-op in South Carolina, held a dedication ceremony for the Strawberry Substation’s first community solar farm. The Strawberry Substation community solar farm is just the beginning of Berkeley Electric Cooperative’s commitment to sustainable energy. The two-part project will eventually extend to Awendaw, providing more opportunities for community members to participate in the program. With a total of 200 blocks (1,000 panels) available for lease across both locations, the initiative aims to expand access to renewable energy and promote long-term environmental benefits.

Get In Touch

Alder Energy Systems has experience working hand-in-hand with energy companies to create large-scale clean energy solutions. We work closely with our clients to create the optimal solar system for your unique needs. Contact us today to discuss your needs and be sure to ask for a quote. 

  • Client: Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. and Berkeley Electric Cooperative
  • Date: 2021
  • Location: Moncks Corner, SC
  • Category: Solar Farm