New DHEC Director Announced as Keynote Speaker for 2015 Clean Energy Summit

Columbia, S.C. – July 2, 2015 – Today, the S.C. Clean Energy Business Alliance announced that Catherine Heigel, the new Director of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, will be the keynote speaker at the 2015 S.C. Clean Energy Summit to be held July 23 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. 

“We are excited to have Catherine Heigel be our Keynote speaker for this year’s Summit,” said SCCEBA Executive Director Jim Poch, “Our annual Summit brings all the major clean energy players in our state together to talk about learn about everything that is happening with the industry in South Carolina.”

 Before joining DHEC, Heigel served as General Counsel and Corporate Strategies Officer for Elliott Davis Decosimo, LLC where she was responsible for managing the firm's legal, M&A and compliance functions. Heigel holds more than 19 years of combined legal, regulatory and executive management experience, including an eleven year career at Duke Energy South Carolina, serving in various capacities to her last role with the company as president of their South Carolina operations.

Joining Heigel is Dr. Larry Dooley, Vice President of Research at Clemson University who will provide introductory remarks regarding the University’s research and initiatives in advanced energy.  Keynote sponsors included Inman Solar of Atlanta, Georgia and the Advanced Energy Economy (AEE).

“I see South Carolina becoming a renewable energy leader in the Southeast,” said Anthony Gardner, Director of Business and Strategic Alliances for Inman Solar.  “We are proud to stand behind SCCEBA in encouraging residential and commercial solar energy development.”

The Summit will feature more than thirty expert speakers from across the Southeast throughout the day presenting sessions. Session topics include wind energy, clean transportation, nuclear energy, energy policy in the southeast, solar energy, energy efficiency, biomass energy and clean energy economic development.

Since its inception in September 2011, SCCEBA has become a voice for the clean energy industry is S.C.  The Summit is a unique opportunity to learn and network with the people who are working to build the clean energy supply chain in South Carolina.  The 2015 S.C. Clean Energy Summit is July 23, 2015 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

For those wanting to attend the SC Clean Energy Summit, early bird registration is open until July 10 and is $100. After July 10, registration prices will increase to $150. For more information about the 2015 S.C. Clean Energy Summit and SCCEBA, visit

SCCEBA is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that has been tasked with building a broad-based business alliance that fosters the development of a clean energy industry in S.C. SCCEBA is a cooperative enterprise for clean energy supply chain development in S.C. For more information visit

Blue Earth to Power on CHP Energy Plant in Sumter, SC in Q1 2015

HENDERSON, NV -- 12/03/14 -- Blue Earth, Inc. a renewable/alternative energy and energy efficiency services company, announced today that it expects to complete its initial combined heat and power ("CHP") energy plant in the first quarter of 2015. The energy plant will be located at the Pilgrim's Pride Corporation ("Pilgrim's Pride") poultry protein processing facility located in Sumter, South Carolina. Pilgrim's Pride is a subsidiary of JBS USA Holdings, Inc. Blue Earth will own and operate the approximate $5.3 million energy plant.

This initial energy plant was scheduled to be in operation by September 30, 2014, as the modular generator was delivered in August. However, completion of the power plant was delayed due to the unexpected delay in delivery of two important pieces of equipment.

Blue Earth's, Sumter, South Carolina, co-generation energy facility will utilize methane made from Pilgrim's Pride's digester for useful purposes such as hot water, electricity generation, as well as useable gas that can be used in the plant boilers. Insulated hot water storage tanks will also be part of the project to upgrade the current thermal system. Currently the methane is flared off into the environment. This system supports the sustainability efforts of Pilgrim's Pride. All electrical energy generated by the cogeneration facility will be sold to Duke Energy under a power purchase agreement.

Rob Potts, COO of Blue Earth, Inc., stated, "We are pleased that our initial CHP energy plant is expected to be in operation during the first quarter of 2015. The Pilgrim's Pride, Sumter energy plant is expected to be a showcase facility for our customer, project financing sources and other potential customers."

SCE&G Invests in Solar Energy at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden

SCE&G and Riverbanks Zoo and Garden Will Work Together to Install Solar Panels as Part of Construction Project 

SCE&G is making a $25,000 donation to Riverbanks Zoo and Garden to invest in solar energy.  The $25,000 donation is a partial match to the $50,000 grant that the zoo received earlier this year from Palmetto Clean Energy (PaCE), a South Carolina nonprofit that promotes renewable energy resources.  The zoo will use this grant to install solar panels that will be incorporated in the design of its new guest services building. 

Riverbanks Zoo and SCE&G are committed to sustainability. A long-time partner and customer of SCE&G, the zoo recently applied for and received a grant from the PaCE program to pursue the installation of solar panels.  With the matching grant from SCE&G, the zoo will be able to implement a larger project.
Over the past several months, SCE&G worked with solar stakeholders to develop comprehensive consensus legislation, and in June, the landmark Distributed Energy Resource Program Act was signed into law by Governor Nikki Haley, opening the door for increased solar installations across the state.  As a result of the new legislation, SCE&G will add about 100 MW of utility-scale and customer solar generation to its operating system over the next several years.
SCE&G issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) in August for the first two solar farms to be constructed on its system in North Charleston and Cayce.  Contracts are expected to be finalized by the end of December 2014. For more information about SCE&G’s solar initiatives visit: SCE&G Solar

For more information about the Palmetto Clean Energy (PaCE) Awards visit: Palmetto Clean Energy

SCCEBA exclusive with Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric officials discuss specifics about the Superior Energy Performance Platinum rated Seneca, S.C. plant. 

Schneider Electric's Seneca, S.C. Plant receives Platinum rating for Superior Energy Performance.

Schneider Electric's Seneca, S.C. Plant receives Platinum rating for Superior Energy Performance.

Schneider Electric's Seneca, S.C. plant recently won a special distinction from the U.S. Department of Energy's Superior Energy Performance program, which ranks participating industrial facilities on energy efficiency improvements. The Seneca, S.C. plant shared the program's highest rating of platinum with the Smyrna, Tennessee plant.

Jerry Ursy, regional facilities manager at Schneider Electric's Seneca, S.C and Columbia, S.C operations provided some additional commentary about the French company's efforts to showcase energy efficiency in its fleet of North American plants. 

First question: What does the Seneca, SC plant manufacture?

The Seneca, SC Plant manufactures motor control centers and electrical breakers for commercial and industrial customers. 

Second question: What did the Seneca, SC Plant do to reduce energy by over 15.6% in the DOE Superior Energy Performance Program?

The primary energy reduction technique for the Seneca, SC Plant was a significant overhaul of many twenty year old plus rooftop HVAC units with smarter models which allowed our building managers to manipulate the heating and cooling needs of the building.  Additionally, that 15.6% energy conservation equated to over $100,000 in annual savings at the Seneca, S.C Plant which has a power bill of approximately $650,000 annually.

Third question: Why did Schneider Electric decide to focus on the Seneca, SC plant for such a significant energy efficiency project?

Schneider Electric has been a global leader in energy efficiency, so it was natural to focus on our plants as some of the first adopters of energy efficiency. Schneider Electric was an early adopter of ISO 50001 and partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy on a pilot program at the Smyrna, Tennessee plant. Based on that successful pilot, Schneider identified other similar large energy consuming plants in its North American markets for similar energy efficiency efforts. The Seneca, S.C. plant fit the characteristics Schneider Electric was looking to replicate. It should also be noted that the Columbia, S.C. plant is doing some remarkable lighting improvements which garnered that plant a gold rating under the Superior Energy Performance program.

Fourth question: Were there any barriers to implement these energy efficiency upgrades? 

Aside from the initial capital expenditure for the Seneca, S.C plant, the only major barrier was a cultural barrier. Because the Seneca, S.C. plant’s conditioned air wasn't managed appropriately, employees would turn on fans which would generate heat themselves, but also pull warmer air from the ceiling down to the 10ft conditioned air space where employees work. The Schneider Electric energy management group focused on understanding the problem and worked to educate employees as the new HVAC units was being installed.

Dennis Edwards and Wade Willatt of Schneider Electric also contributed to the article.


DHEC Officials Shed Light on South Carolina’s Response to the EPA’s Clean Energy Power Plan at Business Roundtable

Photo: Myra Reece presenting at SCCEBA's Business Roundtable.

October 7, 2014 -Greenville, S.C.-  The South Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance (SCCEBA) hosted a Business Roundtable at Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (ICAR) on Thursday, October 2 to discuss South Carolina’s response to the EPA’s proposed Clean Energy Power Plan.

“We were able to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders who are interested in clean energy business opportunities to discuss the EPA’s proposed Clean Energy Power Plan, 111(d),” said Jim Poch, SCCEBA Executive Director.  “The result was an engaging conversation about how all stakeholders need to collaborate on our state’s response.”

The EPA’s plan grew from the 2007 Supreme Court ruling that carbon dioxide was an air pollutant.  The Plan is aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. Each state is expected to develop its own statewide plan that will plot solutions to lower carbon emissions.  South Carolina’s proposed emissions rate reduction is the third highest target in the country at 51%. 

“The EPA’s Clean Energy Power Plan is a historic opportunity to modernize our electricity system for the 21st Century,” said Robert Keough, Vice President of Advanced Energy Economy (AEE). “There are many advanced energy technologies available to help states meet the goals set by the EPA.”

AEE has highlighted 40 clean energy technologies that could be used to reduce emissions in a recent report.

Currently the EPA is taking comments from states on the 1600 page proposed rule that will be finalized by June 2015.  At that point it will outline how states must develop their plans. DHEC is responsible for crafting S.C.’s response, and they want to make sure stakeholders are informed and providing valuable feedback. 

“This is the most complex and challenging rule we have ever had to deal with,” said Myra Reece, Bureau Chief, Bureau of Air Quality, S.C. DHEC.  “Our strategy is to use all the time we have to put together a carefully crafted plan for reduction.  We are different than every other state, because we have the willingness of stakeholders to come to the table and collaborate on a response.”

DHEC and all stakeholders are currently preparing responses to the Clean Power Plan Rule.  The comment deadline has been extended to December 1 of this year. 

“We want to work to ensure that South Carolina gets credit for early action, specifically in regard to billions of dollars of investments already made in nuclear,” said Reece.  “Right now we are asking questions and talking with the EPA every day, and the EPA is looking to us to make sure we all get it right.”

A key concern is that the plan will increase South Carolina’s historically low power costs.  Reece insists that is one of many reasons why it is so important to get this plan right; to minimize the impact to consumers and businesses in our state. 

States will have the opportunity to write their own plans to meet the reductions goals.  If states do not submit a plan, then it will be left up to the EPA to provide a plan of action. 

“SCCEBA appreciated the time and expertise given by the speakers and attendees to discuss our state’s response to this important plan,” said Poch.  “We work to build clean energy industry in South Carolina and it important for us to facilitate this discussion so businesses can better understand the impact of 111 (d) on our industry.”

SCCEBA is a cooperative enterprise representing the needs and interests of this growing industry through policy development, educational outreach to decision makers, and strategic economic development. For more information visit,  

SCCEBA’s Rural Business Enterprise Grants could position I-95 Corridor as hub for aviation, maritime and on-road biodiesel production.

Grants kick off with biofuel production stakeholder meetings in Walterboro and Manning.

Columbia, SC – The South Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance (SCCEBA) will host two meetings next week as part of a USDA Office of Rural Development Rural Business Enterprise Grant designed to connect economic development officials in Colleton and Clarendon Counties with industrial biofuel companies.

The first meeting will be held Wednesday, September 17th at the offices of the Colleton County Economic Alliance and will feature two algae biofuel production companies. On Thursday, September 18th, two cellulosic biofuel companies will meet with representatives from the Clarendon County Development Board. These meetings are open to observers, but space is extremely limited. If you are interested in participating as an observer in these meetings, please contact Andrew Epting at no later than Monday, September 15th by 5:00pm EST.

Clarendon County Development Board Executive Director, John Truluck said, "Clarendon County has numerous advantages for many different manufacturing sectors.  Our hope is this grant will help us identify those advantages and promote them to companies in the biofuels sector."

SCCEBA, and a host of other partners including the SC Department of Commerce and SCRA, will facilitate a dialogue geared towards understanding what South Carolina, and specifically the I-95 Corridor, can do to recruit and secure capital investment from commercial scale biofuel production companies.

Additionally, SCCEBA will host a biofuels customer stakeholder meeting on October 10th at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in North Charleston, S.C. This meeting will gauge the level of demand for biofuels for aviation, maritime and on-road customers.

“South Carolina is an ideal place for biofuel production. We'd like to see the day come where planes are flying out of Charleston International Airport using fuel produced and refined less than 100 miles away – that will really benefit the economy of the I-95 Corridor in South Carolina” said Andrew Epting, program manager at SCCEBA and grant manager for the two Rural Business Enterprise Grants.

SCCEBA is a cooperative enterprise dedicated to enhancing South Carolina’s policy and business environment to develop the clean energy manufacturing supply chain. These efforts will make the Palmetto State more competitive in attracting clean energy businesses and the jobs associated with this rapidly expanding industry.

For more information please visit

2014 SC Clean Energy Jobs Census is in the Books

173 South Carolina clean energy, energy efficiency and clean transportation firms responded to the third annual census.

SCCEBA would like to thank the 173 companies who took the time to participate in the 2014 SC Clean Energy Jobs Census. Their participation in providing accurate employment, economic and policy information will greatly help South Carolina to continue to measure the growth of the clean energy industry.

The 2014 SC Clean Energy Census is the third census undertaken by SCCEBA and the results have historically yielded positive growth in the industry. In 2014, the four-state committee of census participants decided to revise the methodology of the census questionnaire which would yield a consistent employment number across the four states, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. This revision of methodology may provide a number which is lower than figures presented in year’s past, but may not necessarily represent a contraction of the clean energy industry. SCCEBA will work with the NC Sustainable Energy Association on analyzing the information beginning in late October.

For more information about the Annual Clean Energy Jobs Census, please contact Andrew Epting at

2014 SC Clean Energy Summit Draws the Clean Energy Community Together

For the third year, the South Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance hosted its annual SC Clean Energy Summit in Columbia, S.C. Over 240 people attended the event which boasted seven sessions on topics ranging from wind energy development off the Grand Strand to Clean Energy Economic Development along the I-95 corridor of South Carolina.

The Summit also featured two power packed sessions, the first featured Sec. Bobby Hitt of the S.C. Department of Commerce who spoke about the changing trends in economic development and how companies looking to invest in S.C. are looking for energy efficient buildings, access to clean energy and a workforce who can deliver on those requests.

The second featured session was titled "Achieving Compromise to Expand Clean Energy in South Carolina". Six representatives from the state's utility, conservation and regulatory organizations participated in a 45 minute discussion centered on the recently passed landmark solar energy legislation in South Carolina.

"The theme the panel kept focusing on was that this solar legislation was the product of compromise, collaboration and partnership," said Grant Reeves of The InterTech Group who moderated the panel. "Because of this achievement, South Carolina is now listed near the top of every solar developer's map of emerging markets" he added.

"The Summit provided the opportunity for the clean energy industry in South Carolina to come together, share ideas and chart a course towards continued development and job creation," said Jim Poch, SCCEBA executive director. "We would like to thank all of our sponsors, exhibitors and attendees who registered from across the Southeast. Our success would not be possible without everyone's involvement."

Stay tuned for information about the 2015 SC Clean Energy Summit.