Solar Energy

The Columbia Museum of Art received a $213,500 grant from US Department of Energy to implement a renewable energy project.

"This project demonstrates the value of using solar in a facility that has a lot of visitors. We are glad the Columbia Museum of Art is using this opportunity as an educational tool for the public as well as creating a source for clean energy."

- Ashlie Lancaster, SC Energy Office Director

When installed in 2010, this was the only solar project of this size in the city of Columbia and the largest commercial project in South Carolina

About the Solar Panels

  • They PRODUCE up to 10% of the Museum's daily usage
  • They OFFSET 40 tons of carbon every year
  • They SAVE 379 trees per year
  • They GENERATE 53,340 kilowatts per hour which is 933,450,000 candles worth of light
  • The 177 poly-crystalline silicon solar panels cover 4,000 feet on the roof and will produce 53,340kWh annually - enough to power five new homes.
  • The panels are configured into two sub arrays consisting of 99 panels and 78 panels, each 3 x 5 feet.
  • The grant, awarded by the SC Energy Office, is one of twelve renewable energy projects funded by the Energy Office that are part of $3.2 million awarded to nonprofit organizations and government entities in South Carolina through funds made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Click here for live graphs.

Solar Energy Lesson Plans

For All Ages

Solar Art
Enjoy a hands-on learning when you stop by the SCANA/CMA solar exploration station. In the classroom, students will investigate the use of solar power and the effects of solar power on art. Students will create a design using the sun. This lesson will explain the importance of solar energy as it pertains to art.
Lesson Plans - Elementary School
Lesson Plans - Middle School
Lesson Plans - High School


This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy under Award Number(s) DE-EE0003884 through the SC Energy office. This material was sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.