Columbia, SC -- South Carolina's Senate Judiciary Committee gave a favorable report to a solar bill today that senators said would allow the state to catch up to its neighbors in the amount of solar energy generated.

The bill, a collaborative effort between utilities, conservationists, solar business groups and electric cooperatives, was given a favorable report by a 19-1 vote.

Sen. Luke Rankin, R-Horry, said the bill would allow renewable energy sources to "get a toe in the water" in South Carolina.

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While some large entities in the state – BMW and Boeing – have been able to incorporate solar into their energy mix, "This brings it down to the little man to take advantage of solar," said Sen. Chauncey Gregory, R-Lancaster.

The lone vote in opposition came from Sen. Shane Martin, R-Spartanburg, who said he couldn't vote for an amended bill that he hadn't had time to read.

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