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Grainger Generating Station stacks fall


CONWAY, S.C. — Santee Cooper brought down Grainger Generating Station’s two, 300-foot stacks at 8 a.m. today, the final significant structures to be removed in the ongoing dismantling of the station and a significant symbol of Santee Cooper’s increasing reliance on emissions-free and renewable generation. The stacks had been a landmark in the Conway area for 50 years.

The stacks were toppled with a series of small, controlled explosions that weakened them at the base, allowing for a controlled fall. The event was conducted by Controlled Demolition Inc. (CDI), a Maryland firm with more than 60 years’ experience in demolition. Grainger’s buildings and coal conveying equipment had already been dismantled by National Salvage and Service Corp.

Grainger may be best known for helping electrify rural South Carolina and for being instrumental in bringing Santee Cooper’s electric system back online after Hurricane Hugo in 1989.

Santee Cooper operated Grainger Generating Station from 1966 to 2012, when the coal-fired station was retired as part of the utility’s move to a more diverse mix of generating resources, including additional renewable resources and nuclear generation. Santee Cooper has set a goal to meet 40 percent of its customers’ energy needs by 2020 with non-greenhouse emitting resources, renewable resources, conservation and energy efficiency.

Once the rubble from the stacks has been removed and the demolition completed, the ground will be layered with soil, graded and covered with grass. The future of the site has not been determined, and Santee Cooper intends to work with the city of Conway to repurpose it for economic benefit. Ash recycling at Grainger’s two ash ponds will continue.

Santee Cooper is South Carolina's largest power provider, the largest Green Power generator and the ultimate source of electricity for 2 million people across the state. Through its low-cost, reliable and environmentally responsible electricity and water services, and through innovative partnerships and initiatives that attract and retain industry and jobs, Santee Cooper powers South Carolina. To learn more, visit