Solar panels planned for century old home in South Carolina

Betsy Kaemmerlen's house was built in the early 1900s by an old pecan farmer after he ordered it out of a catalog for one of his daughters.

Nearly 100 years later, that house is still standing in what is now Columbia’s Melrose Heights neighborhood. But Kaemmerlen wants to add something not historic to her historic home — photovoltaic solar panels.

Kaemmerlen’s petition before the city’s Design/Development Review Commission has alarmed residents of this socially conscious neighborhood off Millwood Avenue — so much so that they are considering taking the rare step of amending the neighborhood’s architectural design guidelines to incorporate green technology.

If they do that, Melrose would become the first of the city’s 12 protected neighborhoods to incorporate green technology. But in a neighborhood where appearances are everything, deciding how to incorporate that technology is the hardest part.

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