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Winter 2017

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South Carolina Notable State

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Santee Cooper Board approves 2017 budget

In its 2017 spending plan approved Dec. 5, the Santee Cooper Board of Directors held operating and maintenance costs to 2016 levels. The Board also approved capital investments in new nuclear generation and improvements to the utility’s electric grid and environmental controls. The Board also approved the 2018 and 2019 budgets for planning purposes.

This year’s budget totals $3.2 billion and includes $1.8 billion for the electric system, $9.1 million for the water systems and $1.4 billion for capital expenditures. Approximately 41 percent of the $1.8 billion electric system budget is allocated for fuel and purchased power. 

“Even as our investment in expanding the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station grows, Santee Cooper employees are continuing to save money in operations and fuel spending,” said Lonnie Carter, Santee Cooper president and CEO. “These cost savings, along with excellent debt management, are minimizing customer impacts in the short term, while we build nuclear generation and make system improvements that will provide clean, reliable and affordable electricity for the long term.”

 

Incentives increased for community, rooftop solar programs

Santee Cooper customers who install rooftop solar panels or buy into Solar Share, the utility’s community solar project, will see their solar investment pay off much sooner under new incentives the Santee Cooper Board of Directors approved on Dec. 5 

New incentives include larger per-watt rebates. The rebate for Solar Home and Solar Business customers who install rooftop panels is now $1.60 per watt, up from $1.30. The rebate for customers who invest in Solar Share community solar is now $1.40 per watt, up from $1. Also, rebates are now applicable for up to 6-kilowatt installations, where the programs originally limited rebates to 4 kW of installed capacity.

“We launched these programs last spring to help our customers invest in solar power and cut their electric bills over the life of the program,” said Lonnie Carter, Santee Cooper president and CEO. “With good feedback from our customers, we’ve made the programs even better. These new incentives cut in half, approximately, the time it takes the solar investment to pay for itself.”

Under the new incentives, a customer who purchases a 17-year, 4-kW Solar Share subscription could recover that investment in just under five years.

The Santee Cooper Board will reassess the terms of Solar Share, Solar Home and Solar Business at least annually going forward. To learn more or to get in touch with a Santee Cooper energy adviser, visit www.santeecoopersolar.com