Santee Cooper Records Most Successful Year to Date for Recycling and Beneficial Use
MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – Santee Cooper recycled 1,607,052 tons of coal ash and other coal combustion products in 2019, the highest amount of any year to date and a result reflecting the utility’s emphasis on excavating its legacy ash ponds.
“Santee Cooper has recycled millions of tons of coal combustion products over the past four decades, keeping them out of landfills and putting them to good use,” said Jane Hood, vice president of Environmental and Water Systems Management. “It’s not only environmentally responsible, but it spurs economic development. By encouraging the companies who recycle our products for beneficial use to set up production near our power plants, it brought jobs and economic growth to the state.”
Santee Cooper has been recycling dry fly ash and bottom ash, produced as a byproduct of coal generation, since the late 1970s. In 2013, it began to recycle the ash it was holding in ponds, in addition to the ash generated at active stations. Over the past decade, Santee Cooper has beneficially used more than 7.2 million tons of ash, and half of this was reclaimed from ponds. The ash is a valued raw material used in ready-mix and concrete products. It has been used in many construction and road projects, perhaps most visibly Charleston’s Ravenel Bridge.
Almost 100% of Santee Cooper’s gypsum is beneficially used. Gypsum is a byproduct of our Sulphur dioxide removal systems at coal-fired generating stations. American Gypsum, a drywall manufacturer in Georgetown, uses the utility’s gypsum as a raw material for drywall. Gypsum that doesn’t meet the exact specifics for drywall is used by the local cement industry. Santee Cooper’s gypsum is also licensed by Clemson for use as a soil amendment. This means that farmers in South Carolina can apply gypsum to their crops. It is especially valuable for peanut production.