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Diversity is the key to successful long-term energy strategy


November 02, 2016   By Susan Jackson in Environmental Stewardship
Most financial advisers agree a well-diversified portfolio is preferable over putting all money eggs in one basket.

The same holds true for our nation’s energy portfolio and diversification is the key to meeting national electricity requirements. Coal and gas, both abundant and economical fossil fuels, continue to be an important part of that mix, and will continue as a dominant global energy source far into the future.

With technology and regulations we have mastered previous environmental challenges associated with coal, such as achieving significant reductions in sulfur dioxide or SO2. Yet, coal continues to be challenged because of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Options, such as the use of carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies, are needed to address CO2. BP Energy Outlook 2016 notes levels of CO2 emissions are expected to grow by 20 percent from 2014 to 2035

The United States Secretary of Energy Ernest... Continue Reading >>

Santee Cooper's Secret Agent


June 22, 2016   By Aaron Grant, Summer Intern in Environmental Stewardship
I will never forget the day I discovered my father’s true profession.

Growing up as a child who loved the game of baseball, my father and I would often play catch in the front yard. Sometimes he would be the catcher as I practiced pitching and sometimes he would roll me ground balls and throw me pop flies.

One day during the middle of one of our workouts, he randomly stopped what he was doing and looked down at one of his legs. He then gently yet promptly raised his glove hand just before slamming it hard against his leg. “Got ‘em!” he yelled as he pealed the now flattened mosquito carcass from his 1995 Rawlings Paul O’Neill Edition glove.

“Ahh, Aedes Albopictus, ” he said, examining the pest inches away from his eyes. He then looked at me and said, “This here is one of the most common mosquitos in the area and they primarily bite people around the ankle and calf area.”
Continue Reading >>

Sustainable electricity


June 16, 2016   By Jay Hudson in Environmental Stewardship

This SEFA Group truck is loading a coal ash product at Santee Cooper’s Winyah Generating Station near Georgetown that will be used for industrial purposes and not landfilled.

What is sustainable electricity? There are many definitions of how to meet social, environmental and economic goals simultaneously (referred to as the “triple bottom line”). The issue with electric utilities is how to do this in a heavily regulated environment while producing reliable, affordable power delivered directly to the customer’s home or business 24 hours per day, every day. It’s a complex issue with many moving parts. 

The idea of sustainably is a simple one: Provide what is needed (electricity) to ensure the product remains viable and productive – ensure it is sustained. Santee Cooper is working on many of these moving parts. Just to highlight a few:

Renewable energy – Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s leader with 130 megawatts either online or under contract. From the first landfill gas site to the state’s largest solar array in Colleton County to a new community solar program, Santee... Continue Reading >>

Happy Earth Day, GOFER!


April 20, 2016   By Jessica Yourko in Environmental Stewardship
This Friday, for the 46 th time, we will once again celebrate a movement that was conceived to generate passion and motivate people to action.  On April 22, we will celebrate Earth Day.

Earth Day began in 1970 as a way to bring an increased awareness to the importance of environmental protection.  Twenty million Americans took to the streets, coast to coast, to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. Today, Earth Day is celebrated in more than 193 countries.

In 1990, to commemorate the 20 th anniversary of Earth Day, Santee Cooper began the Give Oil For Energy Recovery (GOFER) pilot program.  Within two days, nearly 700 hundred gallons of used motor oil were collected in Horry and Berkeley counties. Sadly, prior to this effort and through the decades, hundreds of thousands if not millions of gallons of used motor oil was soaked up into the soil, wetlands, and waterways in South Carolina because of the lack of easily... Continue Reading >>

Striving for Zero Waste


March 02, 2016   By Susan Mungo in Environmental Stewardship

Santee Cooper fly ash was used in the construction of the Ravenel Bridge in Charleston. (Photo by Jim Huff/Santee Cooper)

I love to watch DIY shows that repurpose old, broken, or otherwise unusable items into something that looks so cool everybody wants one. The experts always amaze me with their creativity. They make me believe that turning some old, discarded item into a work of art, or at least into something useful, takes just a little effort and some imagination. They don't waste or throw away anything, not even an old wooden pallet.

At Santee Cooper, we try to put some of those same principles and practices to work. Our goal is to be a zero-waste business, and we practice single-stream recycling at all of our facilities to help us get there. Single-stream recycling is a system where all recyclables (i.e. newspaper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum, junk mail, etc.) are placed in a single bin or cart for recycling.

We also have two recycling facilities where used utility poles, wire, scrap metal, insulators, light fixtures and other materials are examined, refurbished... Continue Reading >>