Types Of Green Energy
In our industry, we talk a good deal about renewable energy and sources to generate sustainable power. Santee Cooper Green Power is electricity we generate from renewable resources like wind, solar and landfill gas. To highlight the benefits of this, we host Green Power Events throughout the year that use sustainable energy made in South Carolina by South Carolina resources.
Green Power is one of the ways Santee Cooper is committed to long-term sustainability and environmental stewardship. It is Green-e Energy certified, which means it meets strict and specific consumer standards. We’re talking about low-impact generation that produces a high amount of energy efficiently.
We realize that to move this industry forward, we have to be leaders in generating electricity from renewable, cost-efficient resources, and we’re committed to providing our customers with the education and means to make a difference in their own homes and workplaces, as well.
Here are four ways we provide Green Power using renewable resources.
Solar generation is one of the most popular sources of renewable energy. Solar panels use photovoltaic cells to absorb the sun’s energy and produce an electrical current. A solar inverter then converts the electricity to a state that is usable by your home or business, which is fed first to your home and then the electric grid.
There are two ways you can take advantage of solar energy: installing solar panels on your rooftop, or by purchasing a share of energy produced by community solar farms. Either way, you’re using the energy the sun consistently produces to generate your electricity.
Like solar energy, wind turbines use the elements to produce energy. Naturally occurring wind rotates the blades of the turbine, which helps spin a generator that produces electricity. While wind is not currently a large producer of renewable energy for South Carolina, there is potential for offshore power generation. Typically, this avenue costs more than wind generation on land, but we are continuing to research and explore opportunities to utilize energy from the wind.
Traditionally, hydroelectric power – or hydropower – has been the single largest renewable energy source in the United States. It works by capturing the energy of flowing water and turning it into electricity using turbines and generators. The process produces very minor greenhouse gas emissions and no sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide or mercury emissions. Hydropower has been around for quite some time. In fact, our hydroelectric station at Lake Moultrie, Jefferies Hydroelectric Station, was the birthplace of Santee Cooper and can produce up to 128 megawatts (MW) of electricity.
Finally, we have biomass and biogas, which generate power from organic matter such as wood or landfill gas. This type of generation eliminates waste by generating power using resources that are already consistently being produced. Santee Cooper is the only energy provider in South Carolina converting landfill methane gas into clean, homegrown electricity at six Green Power Generating Stations with a combined capacity of 28 MW.
By using these specific renewable energy generation technologies, we are helping to preserve the environment, reducing demand on our non-renewable natural resources and increasing our energy independence. Plus, proceeds from our Green Power sales are also used to build additional renewable generation and have been used to build 28 Green Power Solar School demonstration projects. Green Power is an important piece of our generation strategy that benefits our communities in many ways.