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Time for a Rodeo

March 15, 2018   By Jessica Yourko in Community
Do you have any big plans for this St. Patrick’s Day weekend? If not, let me help you make some.

On Saturday, March 17, the Conway campus of Horry Georgetown Technical College will play host to the 21 st annual Santee Cooper Lineworker’s Rodeo. It’s a cool event and it’s kid friendly. There are things for them to enjoy, too. 

The rodeo was established in 1988 to determine which teams would represent Santee Cooper at the International Lineman’s Rodeo, held that year in Kansas City, Mo.

In 2002, it was decided to expand the rodeo and invite qualified individuals and teams from the state’s electric cooperatives to participate in this friendly competition. 

While the rodeo may have started with very humble beginnings, it has grown considerably. It’s an event that lineworkers look forward to participating in every year, partly for the camaraderie that comes with working with others... Continue Reading >>

Energy Matters

March 07, 2018   By Susan Jackson in Energy Matters
In order for America to have a strong economy, America needs energy security with a sound energy policy. That means energy has to be affordable, abundant and reliable.

All of our nation’s energy resources, including resources which are not popular due to environmental misconceptions, are needed to maintain energy security. Without a doubt, coal is our nation’s most abundant energy resource, produced domestically, and this abundance leads to affordability.  According to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), coal was the second-largest energy source for U.S. electricity generation in 2016—about 30 percent.

We have all heard for years that coal is a finite resource and the well (or the mine in this case, is running dry). These claims have been made for years. The earliest shortage claim I’ve seen was published in “The Wonders of Science” in 1912 (yes, 1912).

In this science book, Sir William... Continue Reading >>

South Carolina Well-Positioned to Benefit From Emerging Offshore Wind Industry in U.S.

February 28, 2018   By Elizabeth Kress in Green Energy

Offshore windmills like this one may become more prevalent in the Southeast’s energy mix.

This year is off to a stellar start for the U.S. Offshore Wind (OSW) industry. Many East Coast states (New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Maryland and Virginia) have seen accelerated efforts to develop both offshore wind farms and transmission cabling back to shore.

Worldwide, Denmark decided as early as 1991 that it could develop an OSW industry. Necessity is the mother of invention. Denmark (as well as other European nations with lots of coastline relative to their interior area) set out to find alternatives for power production.

Santee Cooper was an early state leader to study carbon-free and lower carbon generating technologies. This was a critical time in the development of various industries that have become “clean power.”

Some  carbon-abating projects have succeeded and some have not. The push for lower carbon options for power generation has outlasted many political shifts at state, federal and... Continue Reading >>

Where Do You Get Your Energy?

February 21, 2018   By Susan Mungo in Energy Matters

Santee Cooper strives to provide its customers with reliable, affordable electric power.

I’ve heard a lot lately about how living in the great state of South Carolina means you have higher energy bills than most other states. I beg to differ.

The fact is, as a Santee Cooper customer, what I pay per kilowatt-hour of electricity is lower than most.

So where are those stories or facts coming from? Are energy and electricity bills the same thing? That is actually kind of like comparing apples to oranges. Here in the South, most (64 percent) of us have all- electric homes.

That probably means our energy bill and our electricity bill is close to being interchangeable. But if you use natural gas at home for anything, the cost for gas should be added to the overall “energy bill.”

In other parts of the country, as much as 82 percent of the population use another fuel source to heat or cool their home. They also often use gas to cook with or keep their water heater running.  That means they are not... Continue Reading >>

Santee Cooper is in the driver’s seat of economic development today and tomorrow

February 14, 2018   By Willard Strong in Economic Development
A bit of news from the S.C. Department of Commerce caught my eye this week: The Palmetto State’s economic value of exports in 2017 totaled $32.2 billion.

It’s the eighth straight year that South Carolina set such a record and represented an almost 3 percent increase over 2016. It used to be, for example in Colonial times and thereafter, agricultural products were what we primarily sent overseas. Indigo, rice and cotton in that order, represents that history.

Today, it’s cars and trucks. You know their names: BMW and Mercedes-Benz. In fact, 16 percent of all vehicle exports in this country come from South Carolina and BMW’s share alone is about $8.8 billion representing nearly a quarter-million vehicles.

As you likely know, Volvo Cars is building a manufacturing plant in Berkeley at Camp Hall, a massive industrial campus that Santee Cooper owns and is developing with an array of partners, including Berkeley Electric... Continue Reading >>

Solar power update in South Carolina

February 07, 2018   By Elizabeth Kress in Energy Matters

Solar energy has a bright future in South Carolina as more megawatts are installed in the Palmetto State.

Members of the South Carolina Solar Council meet regularly to share information about the solar industry in the Palmetto State.

Issues and challenges are discussed, and actions taken to address them. Some of the presentations from the meeting are available on their blog page . For example, the South Carolina Energy Office (SCEO) developed information and a website to help consumers with solar information. This website gives helpful information about solar, as well as a place to take a consumer complaint if needed.

The SCEO tracks the status of solar installations as part of its work for the federal Department of Energy. They reported a total of 176 megawatts (MW) of installed solar in the state as of July 31, 2017. For comparison, 176 MW is larger than any of the coal units recently retired at Grainger or Jefferies stations, or a little more power than a simple-cycle natural gas turbine at Rainey Generating Station, except that solar only puts out power... Continue Reading >>