Conway Diesel Generation Project

Santee Cooper is continuing its transition toward a leaner and greener power supply, relying more heavily on solar and less on coal, while keeping costs low and maintaining excellent reliability. An important part of this transition involves relocating four diesel generating units to the Conway area.

The diesel units will be used during times of high energy use on Santee Cooper’s system, which was previously served by coal-fired Winyah Generating Station Units 3 and 4. We estimate that these peaking units will run approximately 50 hours per year, or less than 1% of an entire year, based on current forecasts. Exceptions could occur during contingency conditions or during periods of unusually high demand.

The units will be placed behind an existing Santee Cooper substation off of U.S. Highway 701 in Conway, near the Food Lion, which is near our highest load center, the Grand Strand area.

Santee Cooper will follow regulatory procedures for obtaining necessary permits, including any public comment periods. Once permits are obtained, construction will occur onsite for around nine months.


The project includes the relocation of four diesel generating units (20 MW) from the V.C. Summer site to the Conway site. The units will be used during time of high energy use on Santee Cooper’s system. 

Santee Cooper is continuing its transition toward a leaner and greener power supply, relying more heavily on solar and less on coal, while keeping costs low and maintaining excellent reliability. An important part of this transition involves the Conway Diesel Generation Project. The relocation of the diesel generators provides for the timeliest and most cost-effective path to retire Winyah Units 3 and 4. The units will be needed for standby power as we retire Winyah Generating Station and add additional solar power to our energy mix.

We estimate that these peaking units will run approximately 50 hours per year, or less than 1% of an entire year, based on current forecasts. Exceptions could occur during contingency conditions or during periods of unusually high demand. The estimated noise level of the units when operating is equal to or less than 50 decibels, which meets Horry County and City of Conway residential sound level limit ordinances.

The location was chosen because it is behind an existing Santee Cooper substation and near the Grand Strand area, which is our highest load center.

Low structures on the property will include the generators, external fuel tanks, a fuel unloading station, a stormwater retention pond, and four stacks, which will not be visible in residential areas across Highway 701.

The site is free of endangered species and has a tree buffer from Highway 701. Based on our anticipated air permit, emissions are expected to be reduced 94% on average over running the two units at the Winyah plant. We will follow regulatory procedures for obtaining necessary permits, including any public comment periods.

Once permits are obtained, construction will occur onsite for around nine months.

We will follow regulatory procedures for obtaining necessary permits, including any public comment periods that could be issued by OCRM and DHEC.