MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The new Runway Solar Farm in Myrtle Beach near the Myrtle Beach International Airport is set to open in late November.
The 10-acre Santee Cooper solar farm will power 350 homes along the Grand Strand.
“Most of the ballasts are up, the panels are going in, and we should be done by the end of November,” said Tracy Vreeland, Santee Cooper’s Public Relations Specialist.
Solar farms are at the forefront in talks of clean, renewable energy with Santee Cooper almost finished with construction of their second solar farm along the Grand Strand.
Over 7,000 solar panels on South Kings Highway are set to bring power to nearly 400 homes on Santee Cooper’s grid.
“The neat thing about this property is that it couldn’t be used anyway, it was here on the airport property, so we’re making good, clean renewable energy on a piece of property that wouldn’t have been used,” said Vreeland.
Vreeland says the glare from the solar panels won’t affect planes flying over the farm, because they’ve completed special studies to ensure that doesn’t happen.
What’s unique is how these panels can withstand a hurricane.
“This project in particular was built for coastal wind speeds, so the highest wind speeds it could create, and something else to keep in mind is that, you know, solar comes right back on as long as the sun comes out after a hurricane, you’ve got power,” said Vreeland.
Santee Cooper hired EDF Renewables in August to begin construction on 10 acres of the total 17 acres that Santee Cooper purchased.
After its approval in February by the Community Appearance Board, it didn’t take long to get things up and running.
“It took about three months once they started construction to get everything up,” she said. “It happened pretty quickly.”
Santee Cooper plans to increase their solar capacity with more solar farms by 500% by 2024.