Ideal Growing Season & More

South Carolina has an extended growing season, fertile soil, and relatively low-cost land compared to other parts of the U.S. In the majority of the U.S., the growing season only ranges from 120-150 days, yet S.C. falls within the 10% of the U.S. that enjoys a 240+ day growing season, perfect for higher value crops.

Hydropower, biomass, and solar energy are South Carolina’s primary renewable resources for generating electricity.

Hidden Row

Land Availability

Nearly five million acres are classified as agricultural land in South Carolina. For one of the smallest states outside of New England, South Carolina has a significant amount of arable land available.

Low Industrial Power Rates

When it comes to providing reliable, affordable energy for industry, South Carolina is a powerhouse, with some of the lowest industrial power rates in the nation. Costing an average of 15 percent less than the national average, the state can attribute its low-cost, reliable power to an integrated system using multiple energy sources, including hydroelectric, nuclear, coal and natural gas, as well as other renewable resources.

Water Power

South Carolina has over two dozen utility-scale (1 megawatt or larger) hydroelectric generating plants, including several large pumped storage facilities—one of which is the fourth-largest generating facility in the state. Most of the conventional hydroelectric facilities are located in the northwestern part of the state.


With about 13 million acres of forest, forestry is a leading industry in South Carolina. According to the SC Forestry Commission, South Carolina’s forests are one of the foundations of the state’s economy and define our natural resource environment. They represent the dominant landscape of the state and support SC’s agribusiness industry. The economic impact of SC’s forestry industry is over $20 billion and contributes to South Carolina’s thriving economy.

Timber production supports a major industry in South Carolina. Timber output has experienced a steady increase since data collection began in 1936. Softwood has shown a steady increase. Over the last three-quarters of a century, softwood timber production has increased by almost 1.9 percent annually on average and hardwood production by 0.9 percent annually. That increase occurred while the timber inventory nearly doubled. Proper forest management will continue to sustain a forest that can support a thriving forest industry, along with wildlife, recreation, soil, water, and other values.

Learn more about SC’s forestry industry by visiting the SC Forestry Commission website.

Landfill Gas

Landfill gas is used to produce electricity at about a dozen generating facilities in South Carolina. In 2001, Santee Cooper became the first utility in the state to produce electricity with methane gas from landfills. The state’s first anaerobic digester project came online in 2011 and generates power from methane gas captured at a hog farm. An anaerobic digester project that uses poultry waste to generate electricity began operations in 2013. South Carolina also has biomass resources in the form of agricultural residues from corn, wheat, and soybean crops.

Source: US Energy Information Administration

Solar Energy

An increasing amount of South Carolina’s renewable electricity generation comes from solar energy. Utility-scale solar power accounted for nearly 1% of state net generation and increased nearly 70% from 2018 to 2019, when about two dozen solar farms came online. All of the state’s new utility-scale generating capacity in 2020 and the capacity scheduled to come online in 2021 and 2022 will be powered by solar energy.

Offshore Wind

With more than a dozen manufacturers and assemblers of wind turbine components located in the state, South Carolina has the second-largest offshore wind resource on the East Coast. Offshore wind energy is a valuable supplement to South Carolina’s energy portfolio and represents a huge potential source of clean, renewable electricity for South Carolina

Did you know?

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the annual average price of electricity for industrial users in South Carolina is 15% below the U.S. average.