Environmental Stewardship

Santee Cooper's environmental efforts are core to our company's vision and beliefs. 

Our Santee Cooper Green Power program was the first in South Carolina to generate electricity for our customers from renewable resources, and it remains the largest program of its kind in the state. That's just one example of the innovative and pioneering approaches we’ve taken as environmental stewards.

We are committed to maintaining compliance with all applicable federal, state and local environmental statutes, regulations, enforceable agreements and permits. We are also committed to continual improvement in environmental performance through:

  • Proactively seeking ways to enhance compliance
  • Promoting conservation and renewable energy initiatives
  • Minimizing environmental risks
  • Promoting pollution prevention
  • Dedicating personnel, equipment, training and materials for the comprehensive Environmental Management System

Renewable Energy

Santee Cooper Renewable Map

Renewable generation is part of our long-term commitment to environmental stewardship — to meet more of our customers' needs with renewable energy, energy efficiency and electricity that does not emit greenhouse gases.

Learn More


Plug-In Electric Vehicles

PlugIn Electric Vehicles

Plug-in electric vehicles, known as PEVs, offer you a clean, quiet and enjoyable ride, and the coming years will offer even more exciting developments in all-electric vehicles. Carmakers are promising  drivers that the next generation of PEVs will be more affordable and have at least 200 miles of battery range on a single charge.   

Learn More


Sea Turtle Protection

South Carolina United Turtle Enthusiasts (SCUTE) is a group of volunteers dedicated to sea turtle conservation in Georgetown and Horry counties. 

Organized in 1990, SCUTE is permitted by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources to protect turtle nests, relocate turtle nests if necessary and record turtle deaths through the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network.

SCUTE volunteers preserve quality nesting habitats and monitor nests. The group also works to control beachfront lighting, which disorients nesting female turtles and hatchlings. Thanks in part to the efforts of SCUTE, Georgetown County and the town of Pawleys Island have passed ordinances to limit beachfront lighting along their beaches. Beachfront lighting has been minimized in some areas of Horry County as well.

On average, SCUTE records over 100 loggerhead turtle nests with more than 12,000 eggs along the beaches of Horry and Georgetown counties. Volunteers estimate that about 70 percent of the eggs hatch. A limited number of hatchlings reach adulthood, which takes over 30 years. These low odds make the SCUTE and Santee Cooper preservation effort essential to loggerhead sea turtle survival in South Carolina.

Santee Cooper has worked with organizations like SCUTE since 1990 to preserve and protect loggerhead sea turtles. Santee Cooper supports the efforts of SCUTE by shielding lights and working to raise awareness about sea turtles through a public education program.

Santee Cooper provides free, colorful "Lights Out" bumper stickers to remind property owners and visitors to turn off beachfront lights after 10 p.m. during nesting season. Throughout the nesting and hatching season, SCUTE volunteers distribute information to beachgoers who express an interest in turtle conservation. For more information on the loggerhead sea turtle, contact SCUTE at 843-237-9821 or 843-235-8755 or Myrtle Beach State Park at 843-238-0874.

Sea Turtles


Encroachment Requests

Santee Cooper manages perpetual easements that have been acquired for the safe and reliable transmission of electricity to our customers.

It is essential that these easements remain available for present and future use to ensure that facilities located within transmission easements can be inspected, maintained and operated safely and reliably. No encroachment should be placed within the easement without first consulting with Santee Cooper and obtaining written consent.

Encroachments are classified as any physical change or addition within the easement, other than Santee Cooper activities, after the initial clearing of a right-of-way. If you receive an enforcement letter concerning a non-permissible encroachment within the easement and on your property, it is essential that you contact our Right-of-Way Management division to resolve the encroachment problem. 

Following are examples of encroachment types that are generally permitted within the easement as long as Santee Cooper can maintain adequate access to our facilities, meet the National Electric Safety Code, and satisfy required clearances and encroachment specifications. Any approved encroachment that requires a modification to our facilities will require that the requester pay for the necessary work.

  • Utilities (overhead and underground)
  • Parking lots
  • Fences
  • Ditches
  • Outdoor signs and light poles

  • Structures, buildings, sheds, pump houses, mobile homes, fire hydrants, trees or any vegetation with mature height exceeding 12 feet, billboards, graves, cable gates, tennis courts, recreational fields, playgrounds, swimming pools (above or below ground), dumpsters, deer stands and feeders, retaining walls, satellite systems, junk cars, storage facilities (cars, trailers, recreation vehicles, boats, building material, flammable material, fill material, debris, etc.), any other obstruction (above or below ground), or any other item which in Santee Cooper’s opinion constitutes a safety or fire hazard.
  • Septic tanks, drain fields, agricultural and residential irrigation systems, ditches (that run parallel to Santee Cooper facilities), ponds (recreational, detention, retention, etc.), dams, dikes, manholes, water valves, water meters, backflow preventers, wells, any flooding of the right-of-way, etc., or any other obstruction in Santee Cooper’s opinion are not permitted.
  • Elevation changes (placement of fill, excavation, etc.) on the right-of-way that reduces vertical clearance above ground as well as excavation within the right-of-way are not permitted.  However, Santee Cooper will review these requests when associated with a permissible encroachment request.
  • Any other encroachment that in Santee Cooper’s opinion could endanger the transmission facilities or the public is prohibited.
  • Other items not listed will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and requester must obtain Santee Cooper’s written consent.

  • A $250 application fee payable to Santee Cooper (fee may be waived in some cases).
  • Name and mailing address of the person who will sign the agreement. If different from the Encroachment Owner, documentation of property owner's permission (e.g., easement, letter of consent, etc.) is required.
  • A scaled drawing showing:
    • Proposed encroachment(s) with respect to transmission easement bounds and transmission poles (must show pole numbers for each pole on drawing – instructions on collecting pole numbers from power poles)
    • Major and secondary roads (if near encroachment)
    • Any known easement(s) located within the transmission easement
  • Property deed information for each parcel that is affected by encroachment(s)

  View Application

Contact Us with Questions
Transmission and Transmission with Distribution Lines Alan Bowen
843-761-8000 ext. 5327
Distribution Lines Only Jeff Lane
843-761-8000 ext.7389

Please mail all transmission encroachment request packages to: 

Santee Cooper
Alan Bowen, OC07
P.O. Box 2946101
Moncks Corner, SC 29461-9900


Vegetation Management

Santee Cooper owns and operates electric power lines throughout South Carolina.

Providing safe and reliable power is a priority. One way Santee Cooper protects our customers and their electric service is through the effective management of right of way vegetation.

Santee Cooper’s approach to vegetation management is often referred to as Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM), which we use to promote desirable, stable, low-growing plant communities that will resist invasion by tall-growing tree species. This result can be achieved through the use of a combination of appropriate, environmentally sound, and cost-effective vegetation control methods.

On power line rights of way, IVM methods can help support a diversity of plant and wildlife species. Vegetation control methods can target trees that have the potential to cause power interruptions, while leaving in place grasses, wildflowers and shrubs that can form habitats that will provide food, cover and nesting opportunities for small mammals, birds and pollinators. Over the years, Santee Cooper has supported research projects and has been recognized by habitat restoration award programs that help promote biological diversity within utility corridors.

Closer to home, the pruning and removal of trees near power lines are common in every community and essential for the safety and reliability of the electric system. These activities also can be very dangerous. Only qualified professionals should attempt to work around trees growing too close to electric power lines. The Santee Cooper Right of Way Department and line clearance contractors have years of experience in the business of utility arboriculture.

So, before you trim your shade tree, be certain that all parts of the tree are safe distances from power lines. According to voltage, power lines have different clearance restrictions for both qualified and non-qualified persons. If you have any doubt, contact the Santee Cooper Right of Way Department, a tree-care professional or your local utility for assistance.

And when planting forest or landscape vegetation near power line easements, contact us to find out what vegetation is permitted within the easement.


Distributed Generation

Customer-based Solar

Santee Cooper supports development of solar power resources. We’ve been generating solar energy for our customers since 2006, and we’ve promoted it with the state’s electric cooperatives through demonstration projects all across South Carolina.

Learn More


GOFER

Give Oil For Energy Recovery (GOFER) is Santee Cooper's used oil collection and recovery program and the state's largest used-oil collection program for do-it-yourselfers.

Learn More


Zero-Waste Management

Santee Cooper is leading the way toward a zero-waste business. Working together, Santee Cooper takes every opportunity to find value in what was previously considered waste. Our Investment Recovery department navigates the company’s operations toward this sustainable destination by creating programs that include recycling, material reuse, closed-loop solutions and energy creation.

Annually, we recycle nearly 2 billion pounds of paper, cardboard, plastics, utility poles, scrap metal, batteries, tires and other industrial materials, as well as coal combustion products such as gypsum and fly ash.

Our efforts have been recognized by the S.C. Department of Commerce and the Carolina Recycling Association, among others.