North Carolina firm to install solar panels at Boeing

A sample of the photovoltaic solar panels that will be installed on the roof of Boeing Co.'s huge 787 Dreamliner assembly plant in North Charleston.

Wade Spees

A North Carolina company has been hired to help harness the sun in North Charleston.

In a single project that's projected to triple the capacity of solar power generation in South Carolina, Raleigh-based Baker Renewable Energy announced it has been tapped by South Carolina Electric & Gas to install approximately 10 acres of solar panels on the roof of Boeing Co.'s new 787 Dreamliner assembly plant at Charleston International Airport.

The project is a key component of Boeing's goal to operate the $750 million facility entirely from renewable energy sources.

Cayce-based SCE&G will own and maintain the 18,095 solar panels that, along with four 700-kilowatt inverters from General Electric, will produce 2.6 megawatts for the home of the new production line, the company said. The low-glare dark blue photovoltaic panels will be able to pump out enough power for about 250 homes.

"This single project will be the equivalent to twice the solar that has currently been installed in the state of South Carolina," said Jason Epstein, executive vice president of Baker Renewable Energy.

The project, announced by SCE&G and Boeing in April, is also said to be among the largest rooftop solar installations in the nation. The panels are produced by United Solar Ovonics, a subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices.

The 787 plant is expected to begin producing airplanes by July. The solar panel addition is set to begin producing electricity around September.

In the running

A Mount Pleasant-based marketing and advertising firm is among 18 businesses vying to be named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Carolinas next week.

Levelwing, a full-service ad shop that specializes in digital media, was co-founded by Steve Parker Jr. and Jeff Adelson-Yan in New York City about nine years ago. In 2008, they expanded the agency to the Charleston area, which now serves as its main operations center. Its local office is on Johnnie Dodds Boulevard. The Big Apple outpost handles fulfilling media planning and strategy.

Levelwing and the other would-be entrepreneurs of 2011 will learn who comes out on top June 9 at a banquet in Charlotte. The finalists were picked by an independent judging panel made up of previous winners of the award, CEOs, private capital investors and other regional business leaders.

Most of the finalists are from North Carolina. The other Palmetto State-based businesses that made the cut this year:

--Edens & Avant, a large commercial real estate firm based in Columbia.

--3D Systems Corp., a printing technology business from Rock Hill.

--Wild Creations, a maker of educational toys based in Myrtle Beach.

The contest's regional winners are invited to the national awards gala Nov. 12 in Palms Springs, Calif. The master of ceremonies? "Late Show" host Jay Leno.

Gushing forth

Hot weather, thirsty lawns and empty swimming pools.

Those three factors came to a head early last week at the Santee Cooper Regional Water System: On May 23, the utility delivered a record amount of the liquid, breaking a nearly 4-year-old record by a comfortable 7 percent margin.

The new high-water mark came to 25.9 million gallons over a 24-hour period. The previous record: 24.2 million gallons set May 30, 2007.

System capacity is rated at 36 million gallons per day.

Last fall, the state-owned electric and water utility completed $2.7 million in upgrades at its Lake Moultrie treatment plant near Moncks Corner and a 1 million gallon storage tank near Goose Creek.

"This record peak was driven by the hot weather, recent lack of rain and people turning on sprinklers and filling up swimming pools," said R.M. Singletary, Santee Cooper's executive vice president of corporate services.

He added the recent upgrades "really helped us meet the new peak and the ongoing needs of the four water utilities we supply."

In operation since October 1994, the Santee Cooper system draws and treats water from Lake Moultrie and delivers it to the Summerville Commissioners of Public Works, Berkeley County Water & Sanitation Authority, city of Goose Creek and Moncks Corner Public Works Commission.

Santee Cooper owns and operates the Santee Cooper Regional Water System and also the newer 8 million gallon-a-day Lake Marion Regional Water System near Santee.

Good answer

Upscale-jeweley designer Temple St. Clair, who personally pitched her precious wares at local trunk shows a few years back, gave a shout-out to the Holy City in a Q&A published in The Wall Street Journal last week. Asked where she likes to visit, St. Clair responded: "Charleston, S.C. It has big cosmopolitan flavor for a little town. One of my favorite eating places down there is Gaulart & Maliclet. It's this little chic sit-at-the-counter cafe place. Its nickname is 'Fast and French.' " The longtime Broad Street bistro is also a local favorite.

On the shelf

Just in time for the onset of the annual summer swelter, BANa, a rehydration drink created by a Charleston emergency room physician, is available on the shelves of Bi-Lo grocery stores in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. It's also available at Piggly Wiggly stores in Charleston, Hilton Head, Columbia and Myrtle Beach as well as several gyms.

Developed by Dr. Benjamin Yoo, BANa was created for athletes, but also works for laborers and anyone who is frequently outdoors such as boaters, people with flulike symptoms and anyone with a hangover.

It can be used to prevent and treat dehydration. BANa is based on the concept of a saline IV and was created as a cheaper, quicker and less invasive alternative to a visit the ER for dehydration.