For nearly 80 years, Santee Cooper has provided affordable, reliable power for South Carolinians, by South Carolinians. With facilities in 17 counties and employees going home to 35 counties, we understand the importance of giving back and strengthening local communities to improve the quality of life for all South Carolinians. We create value by investing in people, powering the economy, and supporting vital services like education across our state.
We are helping drive economic development. Since 2017 alone, Santee Cooper has partnered with the state’s electric cooperatives, state and local governments and economic development agencies to attract $3 billion in new capital investments, creating over 12,500 good-paying South Carolina jobs. Our Camp Hall Commerce Park is recognized among the best in the country and Santee Cooper is recognized nationally as a top utility promoting economic development. As South Carolina emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, Santee Cooper will be there to help strengthen the economy.
We support education and volunteer programs that lift up our communities. From community-leading United Way campaigns to generous support of blood drives, Santee Cooper employees give back. They also volunteer as mentors and business partners in local schools, and our Energy Educators Institute has provided graduate-level energy-focused courses for hundreds of teachers across South Carolina for more than three decades.
(May 26, 2021) To help broadband providers more quickly build out retail service to unserved areas of South Carolina, Santee Cooper is now accepting applications from broadband providers interested in access to the utility’s excess fiber and transmission infrastructure. Visit www.santeecooper.com/broadband for more information.
(March 22, 2021) The Santee Cooper Board of Directors approved a new contract with Century Aluminum, providing all electric needs to its Mount Holly plant in Berkeley County under an experimental rate. The rate takes advantage of incremental power – excess capacity available until Winyah Units 3 and 4 are retired at the end of 2023.
The new power agreement allows Century to continue operations at its Mount Holly plant, which employs about 300 people currently and is expected to increase operations and jobs. The deal also frees up 150 megawatts (MW) of transmission capacity, used by Century under its existing contract, which Santee Cooper can now use for economic wholesale market sales and purchases that will benefit all customers.
Read more in the press release.
(January 14, 2021) In December, Santee Cooper participated in a virtual dedication ceremony for the Lake Marion Regional Water System's Dorchester Reach, which is much more than a 10.7-mile water line. It not only provides clean, reliable drinking water to residents in the area – it also stimulates economic growth along the corridor. Santee Cooper will manage the reach as part of the Lake Marion water system. See why the completion of the Dorchester Reach is so important.
(December 14, 2020) Santee Cooper believes our resources can be used to enable broadband providers who are working to improve statewide accessibility. The Board endorsed a set of Broadband Principles to guide our broadband involvement as we develop a program to support this statewide rollout, which you can review here. We invite your input concerning these Principles and ask that you send any comments by Jan. 8, 2021, to Dom Maddalone, Chief Information Officer and Senior Director of Innovation, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Santee Cooper will not be providing broadband. Rather, we can allow providers to lease our excess fiber capacity and allow access to our poles, ducts, conduits, easements, and rights of way. To that end, we have inventoried our available excess fiber and attachment capability across our more than 5,000 miles of transmission lines crisscrossing the state, so we are able to efficiently respond to requests for access.
Finalizing this program is a high priority for Santee Cooper. Over the next few months, we will finalize program components, and develop terms and conditions and a pricing methodology. We expect to present these plans to our Board by the end of the first quarter of 2021.
(December 7, 2020) The Santee Cooper Board of Directors voted to extend our current power contract with Century Aluminum for three months. This allows more time to continue negotiations that could lead to a new three-year contract with the Mt. Holly aluminum smelting plant.
Read more in the press release.
(November 2, 2020) Santee Cooper’s Economic Development programs continue to help bring businesses to South Carolina. Recently, Dockside Logistics announced that it will invest $8.5 million in Dorchester County and create 26 new jobs in the St. George area, specifically to a commerce park that Santee Cooper’s programs have helped support.
Santee Cooper assisted Dorchester County with efforts to develop the northern portion of their county in the Winding Woods Commerce Park. Santee Cooper provided a $4.2 million loan in 2016 to help construct the building that Dockside has chosen. Dockside’s purchase of the building satisfies the outstanding balance on the loan.
(October 22, 2020) Santee Cooper is getting ready for the holiday season and our 10th annual Celebrate The Season Holiday Lights Driving Tour. The pandemic may make some holiday traditions more challenging, but you can still take your “quarantine gang” on a car ride through dozens of twinkling holiday lights for just $5 a car – and get the added holiday glow knowing every bit of that $5 is donated to charities serving our local communities.
Since 2011, Celebrate The Season, presented by Berkeley Electric Cooperative, has donated more than $956,000 to local charities. Join the fun, enjoy a festive run and help us reach the $1 million mark this year. Visit www.celebratetheseason.org for more information.
(October 12, 2020) To help assist with power restoration from the impact of Hurricane Delta, Santee Cooper has sent four line crews, along with a safety specialist and a mechanic to Lafayette, Louisiana. As part of our mutual aid program, Santee Cooper employees will work together with those from Lafayette Utilities System and others who have joined to hasten the restoration efforts once the storm has passed and as soon as conditions permit. View details here.
(October 8, 2020) In 2019, Santee Cooper’s GOFER program (Give Oil for Energy Recovery) collected more than 492,000 gallons of used motor oil – more than half of what was collected in the state. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) recently issued its annual report for used motor oil recycling. The state recycled a total of 954,097 gallons of used motor oil in fiscal 2019, and Santee Cooper collected more than half of that – or 492,379 gallons. For the past 30 years, GOFER has collected more than 30 million gallons of used motor oil, most of which is repurposed as fuel oil to generate electricity. Learn more about the state’s efforts last year in the 2019 Annual Report.
(September 24, 2020) When South Carolina legislators raised concerns about inadequate or nonexistent broadband service across swaths of South Carolina earlier this year, Santee Cooper committed to a concept that would allow providers to access our transmission and fiber assets to help address the problem.
Today, the state General Assembly approved legislation that will do just that – help address the problem by providing a structure in which Santee Cooper and other utilities can use existing easements, structures and fiber, equitably, to improve the reach broadband as quickly as possible.
Santee Cooper is not – and will not be - a broadband provider. Rather, Santee Cooper’s role will be that of enabler – we have over 5,000 miles of transmission lines and 1,200 miles of fiber that could be a resource to help broadband providers deliver service in unserved areas of the state. We are evaluating our assets now and developing the framework to support those providers, which could include electric cooperatives or telecom companies.
It’s a role Santee Cooper is well suited to play, and another example of how the state can leverage its public power utility for the benefit of all South Carolinians.
(September 8, 2020) Santee Cooper has funded a $50,000 grant to help with site and infrastructure improvements at the West Branch Commerce Park in Moncks Corner, as part of a team working on a project that landed A&R Logistics Inc. The grant was matched by Berkeley Electric Cooperative – the electric service provider for the park.
A&R Logistics Inc. is a leading supply chain services company that provides dry-bulk transportation, warehousing, packaging, third-party logistics and export solutions to the chemical industry. The company will construct a 615,000 square-feet facility to provide services for customers shipping products out of the Port of Charleston.
While doing business in Berkeley County, A&R Logistics, Inc. will invest $60 million in capital investment and add 1,000 new jobs to the area.
(September 8, 2020) As part of a project team that ultimately attracted KRA Operations, a top-tier Samsung supplier, Santee Cooper recently funded a $150,000 grant to help offset site-improvement costs on a tract in Newberry County. KRA Operations manufactures stamp metal and plastic injection molding parts to support the Samsung washing machine production facility also in Newberry County.
This project is served by Newberry Electric Cooperative, which also provided $150,000 in grant funds. Santee Cooper, Central Electric Power Cooperative, Newberry Electric Cooperative, and the SC Power Team continue to support Newberry County in their economic development efforts. Located at the Mid-Carolina Commerce Park, KRA Operations will invest $12 million in capital investment and add 60 new jobs.
(August 26, 2020) United Way of Horry County recently honored Santee Cooper with the Community Champion award in the industry sector. This acknowledges that out of all the industries in Horry County, Santee Cooper’s employees had the largest increase in donations last year – from $119k to $129k. “There are no words to express the importance that Santee Cooper’s impact has had on United Way of Horry County,” said Blakely Roof, President and CEO of United Way of Horry County.
United Way of Horry County raises funds for 28 agencies that focus on health, education and financial stability. Santee Cooper has played a role in its work since the organization began in 1973. Every year since, Santee Cooper employees have consistently ranked in the top five donor groups.
Ray Pinson, Santee Cooper’s Director of Community Involvement and Economic Development, is proud of Santee Cooper employees’ involvement with United Way. “It’s our mission to improve the quality of life for South Carolinians, and we are committed to continue to support the United Way where our efforts will have the greatest impact in our community.”
(August 27, 2020) To assist teachers and parents with the upcoming school year, the Santee Cooper Education Programs Team has created digital lessons and activities for elementary, middle and high school grade levels. These virtual web quests, interactive lessons, escape rooms, and simple science experiments will complement the existing online presentations and experiments the team initiated in the 2020 spring semester.
All of these resources, lessons and activities are aligned with South Carolina State Education Standards and are adaptable to any topic or grade level. These virtual lessons can be used to introduce a new topic or reinforce and apply learned materials. Topics for virtual lessons include electrical safety, community helpers, the history of Santee Cooper, careers in the electric and water industry, electrical currents, and energy conservation.
Educators can also contact Santee Cooper Education Programs to create a specialized presentation or activity to meet their classroom needs. Teachers can explore these education resources at the Santee Cooper Teacher Resources Main Page and submit a Request for Santee Cooper's Education Program Virtual Presentation.
Santee Cooper’s, Old Santee Canal Park will also be offering virtual classroom presentations. The park educators can turn any of their historical or environmental education programs into an online lesson or demonstration. Presentations include Native Americans of the Lowcountry, indigo history, swamp things, and space, to name a few. The park’s science and history programs can be accessed on their website under Programs.
Learn more about the free school resources and opportunities Santee Cooper provides to educators and communities at www.santeecooper.com/schoolresources.
(July 29, 2020) Camp Hall broke into the Top 10 and was named the No. 7 best industrial park in the nation in Business Facilities Magazine’s 16th annual Rankings Report, the magazine’s annual assessment of economic development and location leaders. Also notable, Camp Hall, which is located in the greater Charleston, South Carolina, area, was the only park in the Southeast to make the list.
“We are incredibly proud that Camp Hall has been recognized as a top industrial park in the country,” said Mark Bonsall, Santee Cooper President and CEO. “Camp Hall stands out not only because of its environmental, community and technology focus, but because it’s ready for action. Infrastructure, permits and approvals are in place with designated sites ready for development as we speak.”
Readiness, environmental commitment and onsite amenities that will help employees balance work and life set Camp Hall apart from the rest. The industrial park is ready with water, power, sewer and fiber all onsite, and gas is underway. Camp Hall is restoring approximately 365 acres of wetlands, and more than 15 miles of a multi-use trail system will provide a place for the local workforce and surrounding community to walk, run and bike. Learn more about why Camp Hall is a top industrial park in the nation.
(July 13, 2020) During the COVID-19 crisis, the need for blood is as critical as ever. To help keep the blood flowing, Santee Cooper has been working with local communities and the American Red Cross by hosting 10 blood drives so far this year.
On April 6, employees of Berkeley County, the Town of Moncks Corner and Santee Cooper held an emergency blood drive at Santee Cooper headquarters. Some 59 units of blood were collected, which could ultimately save up to 177 lives. This drive was held in addition to Santee Cooper’s regularly scheduled drives on March 12, May 7 and July 9 for a combined total of 209 units of blood. Likewise, HG and Winyah hosted four of their own collecting 64 units. In total since the pandemic, 273 units were collected, which could ultimately help 819 people.
All this was done while ensuring the proper safeguards were in place to help mitigate the spread of COVID. In addition to standard safety protocols, Red Cross staff checked temperatures, set up stations to allow for social distancing, and wore face masks to protect the donors. Hand sanitizer was provided to use throughout the process.
Santee Cooper is proud to assist the American Red Cross in this crucial service and will continue to do so in months and years to come.
(June 30, 2020) Santee Cooper’s Economic Development team has continued to provide much needed resources this year to industries moving to or expanding in South Carolina. Although the pandemic has slowed industry development nationwide, the need for investment remains. Here are a few projects we helped with so far in 2020:
Bamberg-Barnwell ER Center: Working with SC Powerteam and Edisto Electric Cooperative, Santee Cooper provided $30,000 through the Santee Cooper Economic Development Investment Fund (SCEDIF) for a new Emergency Medical Center in Bamberg County. The funds were matched by electric service provider Edisto Electric and used for additional electrical infrastructure to serve the facility. The location of the new ER Center provides residents of Bamberg and Barnwell better access to emergency medical services.
Huber Engineered Woods: Huber Engineered Woods is a manufacturer of specialty building products that is expanding its business operations to the Northeastern Commerce Center in Dillon County. The project is located in the 109,200-square-foot industrial building constructed by Marlboro Development Team (MDT) in 2017 and is creating approximately 30 jobs while investing $300 million in the local economy. In collaboration with MDT, Santee Cooper provided a $4.2 million loan through its revolving loan program to construct the building, which Marlboro Electric Cooperative will serve. In tandem with the Dillon Inland Port, which Santee Cooper also supported, this loan played a key role in fostering more development and job creation in Dillon County.
CRP Industries INC: CRP Industries Inc., a manufacturer in the automotive parts and industrial products sectors, announced in August 2019 plans to establish operations in Horry County. Their $2.5 million investment will create approximately 115 jobs over the next 5 years. Santee Cooper, which committed a $125,000 SCEDIF grant and funded it earlier in 2020, teamed up with the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation (MBREDC) and the SC Department of Commerce to help fund upfits to the building CRP leased for operations.
City of Clinton: Santee Cooper approved a $161,000 Municipal Site Readiness grant for the City of Clinton to extend sewer to a speculative building in the Clinton 26 Industrial site. Extension of the sewer line will increase the marketability of the building and other sites located within the industrial complex.