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Orangeburg County Council: Solar company investing $46.2M

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An existing Orangeburg County solar farm is looking to invest $46.2 million in solar equipment and panels.

Orangeburg County Council gave unanimous first reading last month to a change in the existing fee-in-lieu of tax incentive for Magnolia Solar, LLC.

The solar farm, located at 238 Juniper Street in Neeses, is seeking a 30-year fee-in-lieu of taxes agreement.

Under the agreement, the company would pay the county $105,000 annually for the next 30 years with an additional $100,000 paid in the first year.

This is based on roughly $2,500 per megawatt of power the farm will produce, County Attorney Jerrod Anderson said.

The project will also be placed in a joint county industrial park with Dorchester County. The joint industrial park is not a physical park but an additional project incentive.

No new full-time jobs were promised as part of the project.

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In other business:

• Council gave unanimous third and final reading to the rezoning of two parcels for a new residential housing community in the Holly Hill area.

The planned residential project, which will be located on Bunch Ford Road and Academy Lane, will be developed on about 65 acres.

Project officials say there are no immediate plans to build, but the rezoning change is the first step in moving the process forward.

• Council gave unanimous third and final reading to rezoning about 15 acres of land next to IHOP on North Road for future commercial retail development.

• Council gave unanimous second reading to a fee-in-lieu of taxes agreement with Tri-County Electric Cooperative to expand broadband internet infrastructure to all cooperative customers.

The project will bring high-speed service to every Tri-County member in the Santee, Elloree, Vance and Eutawville areas. Non-members will also have access if they are within the cooperative’s service area.

The cooperative will spend $10 million in Orangeburg County for the project.

No new jobs are associated with the project.

• Council passed a resolution honoring the South Carolina State University Bulldogs for winning the Cricket Celebration Bowl Game against the Jackson State University Tigers. The Bulldogs won the game 31-10. The last time South Carolina State won an HBCU national championship was 2009.

It was the fifth national title the team has won since joining the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in 1976.

The resolution will be framed and presented to S.C. State head coach Buddy Pough.

The county has offered its assistance to the city if it desires or chooses to hold a victory parade for the Bulldogs.

Council thanked S.C. State for inviting President Joe Biden and Congressman James Clyburn to the university’s graduation ceremony. All those county staff and agencies who helped in any way in making the president’s visit a success were thanked.

• Council entered into closed session to receive a legal briefing on the Regional Medical Center and its plans to build an ambulatory surgery center.