Santee Cooper: Growing a Diverse Renewable Energy Mix
Facts ARE Facts
You’ve heard them. They’ve been all over social media, radio and billboards. Outside groups and think-tank voices that sought to diminish the wide-ranging accomplishments and impact of Santee Cooper. It is important for our customers, partners and the people of South Carolina to know the facts. One reason we know we can meet the challenges of the failed V.C. Summer project is that for many years, we have maintained an ever-growing and diverse portfolio of energy sources including coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydro, solar, wind and other renewables. The truth is, Santee Cooper provided the first renewable energy for customers among all utilities in South Carolina. We still have the most diverse portfolio of renewable generation in the state.
The historical facts are clear:
- Santee Cooper was the first utility in the state to supply renewable electricity to customers, turning landfill methane gas into an energy source and taking it out of the atmosphere (2001).
- We put the first solar power on the state grid (2006).
- We launched the state’s first rooftop solar program (2008).
- We were first to introduce wind power to South Carolina’s electric grid (2010).
- We put the first wood-waste biomass facilities on the state grid (2013).
- We helped bring online and are providing customers power from the state’s first utility-scale solar farm, the Colleton Solar Farm (2014).
- We launched South Carolina’s first community solar farm program (2016).
By 2015 we had already generated one million megawatt-hours of renewable Green Power from landfill gas, solar and wind resources. But we didn’t take a victory lap and pat ourselves on the back. We continue to add renewable generation that is practical for our customers and currently have more than 250 megawatts (MW) of renewable power online or under contract, including a contract to buy the output from a 75-MW solar farm that North Carolina Renewable Energy is building in Chesterfield. That project should be online in 2020.
Solar makes up more than half of our renewable portfolio, but we also have a significant amount of biomass (including the landfill gas projects at six landfills around South Carolina). Diversity is important.
Here are a few more statewide renewable projects that are part of our energy mix, as generation we either own outright or made possible by contracting for the energy output:
- Bennettsville Biomass (38 MW, owned by Domtar Paper, 2010)
- Pinelands Biomass – Allendale (18 MW, owned by EDF Renewable Energy, 2013)
- Pinelands Biomass – Dorchester (18 MW, owned by EDF Renewable Energy, 2013)
- Anderson Regional Landfill Generating Station (3 MW, 2008)
- Berkeley Landfill Generating Station (3 MW, 2011)
- Georgetown Landfill Generating Station (1 MW, 2010)
- Horry Landfill Generating Station (3 MW, 2001)
- Lee Landfill Generating Station (11 MW, 2005)
- Richland Landfill Generating Station (8 MW, 2006)
- North Myrtle Beach Wind Turbine (2 kW, 2010)
- Grand Strand Solar Station in Myrtle Beach (311 kW dc, 2011)
- Solar array at Coastal Carolina University in Conway (16 kW dc, 2006)
- Solar array at the Technical College of the Lowcountry in Bluffton (20 kW dc, 2010)
- Colleton Solar Farm (3 MW dc, owned by TIG Sun Energy, 2013)
- Bell Bay Solar Farm in Bucksville (1.6 MW ac, 2018)
- Jamison Solar Farm in Orangeburg (1.2 MW ac, 2019)
We aren’t just talking the talk, we are also walking the walk. We have been doing so for quite some time. Santee Cooper has been, and will continue to be, committed to growing and expanding renewable energy production and a diverse energy supply.
FACTS ARE FACTS.