An unidentified company is planning to invest $70 million in Orangeburg County for the construction of a solar storage facility.

“There have been no promises of new jobs in the long-term operations of the facility,” County Attorney Jerrod Anderson told Orangeburg County Council during its regularly scheduled Monday meeting. “However, there will be construction jobs and maintenance jobs as to maintaining the facility.”

Council gave unanimous first-reading approval by title only to a resolution providing incentives to the company being identified for the time being as Project May. A company’s identify remains anonymous until third and final reading is given.

County officials say the location of the facility has not been finalized.

The project will include the construction of a solar storage facility.

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According to the United States Department of Energy’s Office of Efficiency & Renewable Energy’s website, storage refers to technologies that can capture electricity, store it as another form of energy (chemical, thermal, mechanical), and then release it for use when it is needed. Storage helps solar contribute to the electricity supply even when the sun isn’t shining.

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Lithium-ion batteries are one such technology.

“Although using energy storage is never 100% efficient — some energy is always lost in converting energy and retrieving it — storage allows the flexible use of energy at different times from when it was generated,” the USDE said. “So, storage can increase system efficiency and resilience, and it can improve power quality by matching supply and demand.”

According to the USDE, storage facilities differ in both energy capacity, which is the total amount of energy that can be stored (usually in kilowatt hours or megawatt hours), and power capacity, which is the amount of energy that can be released at a given time (usually in kilowatts or megawatts).

Different energy and power capacities of storage can be used to manage different tasks, the USDE said.

“Short-term storage that lasts just a few minutes will ensure a solar plant operates smoothly during output fluctuations due to passing clouds, while longer-term storage can help provide supply over days or weeks when solar energy production is low or during a major weather event, for example,” the USDE said.

The project incentives include fee-in-lieu of taxes as well as well as special-source revenue credits. The incentives are designed to reduce property taxes the industry will have to pay.

Anderson said the company is seeking a special-source revenue credit structured over 30 years.

The company will pay a fee to the county of $200,000 annually for the first 15 years, $300,000 annually for years 16-22, $350,000 for years 23-26 and $400,000 annually for years 27-30, Anderson said.

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The project would also benefit from a multicounty industrial park designation. Typically, multicounty industrial parks are a 99%-to-1% split with the county in which the project locates receiving about 99% of the fee-in-lieu of taxes and an adjacent county 1% of the fees.

In related matters, council unanimously passed a resolution agreeing to amend and restate a joint county industrial park agreement with Dorchester County for a company in Dorchester County now owned and operated by Flexcold LLC and Patriot Boulevard LLC. 

The company plans to invest $49 million and create 59 new jobs in a industrial cold storage warehouse in Dorchester County.


Council approved the 2023 paid holiday schedule for county employees.

Vice Chair Janie Cooper-Smith requested council make June 19 — Juneteenth — a holiday for county employees. Cooper-Smith said she has received calls from county employees concerned the county does not recognize the day as a holiday.

Juneteenth is already a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. The City of Orangeburg recognized it as an official holiday earlier this year.

Council Chair Johnnie Wright said the matter would be discussed further.

County Administrator Harold Young said because the request has budgetary implications, the holiday, if approved, it would have to go onto the 2023-24 budget year. This means if approved the earliest the county would observe the holiday would be in June 2024.

Bowman to get national recognition

Bowman Councilman Ike Carter informed council that Fox News was to film a news report at Bowman Town Hall Wednesday featuring rural America and the challenges of illiteracy.

Lawrence Jones, currently host of Lawrence Jones Cross Country and an enterprise reporter for the FOX & Friends weekday and weekend franchise, was to do the report.

Carter said he was recently watching a show on Fox News featuring former S.C. Congressman Trey Gowdy. The show featured two women involved in a national literacy group. Carter said he contacted the group via email and heard back from one of the ladies.

Before long he was invited to New York to appear on Fox News but declined the offer. Fox News then said they would come to Bowman to showcase the challenges of illiteracy in rural America.

In other business

  • President of the Concerned Citizens of Whittaker Heights community Andrew Johnson requested council give residents in the community the opportunity to provide input on the naming of the Whittaker Heights Community Center.

During a previous council meeting, a request was made by a county resident to rename the center after the late Councilman Willie B. Owens.

Council said the matter still needs to be researched to determine the legal process.

  • Council gave unanimous approval to a lease-purchase agreement with Caterpillar Financial Services Corp. for the purchase of heavy equipment from Blanchard Machinery Company.
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The purchase is exempted from the county’s procurement code. Normally the county puts such purchases out for bid, but in this case, the county has dealt with Blanchard for years and has been satisfied with the company’s prompt service.

  • Council unanimously approved the 2023 Orangeburg County Council regular session schedule.
  • Council unanimously gave third and final reading to give the Town of Cope about .23 acres of property the county no longer has a need for.

The property is at Sumter and Fieldside streets.

County officials have said the deed to the property requires that if the county gets rid of it, it would revert to the town.

Council had postponed third reading until further research could be conducted on the legality of the transfer after questions arose about the original intentions for the future of the property as laid out by the property’s original owner.

Anderson said after research, it is his opinion the county has firm legal standing to conduct the transfer.

  • Young recognized the county’s Public Works, information technology, risk management and delinquent tax staff for their help with the county’s tax sale Dec. 5-6.
  • Council went into closed session to discuss a contractual matter related to the Regional Medical Center.
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