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Grainger Generating Station stacks to be demolished Feb. 7


<p>File photo by Jim Huff</p>

File photo by Jim Huff

CONWAY, S.C. — Santee Cooper's ongoing dismantling of Grainger Generating Station will mark a significant milestone at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 7, when contractors are scheduled to bring down the station's two stacks.

Plans are being finalized now to topple the stacks with a series of small, controlled explosions that weaken the stacks on one side and so direct their fall. The event will be conducted by Controlled Demolition Inc. (CDI), a Maryland firm with more than 60 years' experience in demolition.

The 300-foot stacks will be engineered to fall parallel to Highway 501, and there will be short road closures as follow:

  • Marina Drive between Third Avenue Extension and Elm Street will be closed from 6 a.m. until approximately 10 a.m.
  • Highway 501 will be closed for approximately 15 minutes around 8 a.m. from Waccamaw Drive to Highway 378.
  • Church Street Extension will be closed at New Road for approximately the same time period as Highway 501's closing.

Dust and debris from the falling stacks is expected to remain on the Grainger site, and the road closings are precautionary.

Also as a precaution, CDI will establish an exclusion zone around the site of approximately 1,000 feet, which includes much of the Grainger Generating Station site and some adjacent areas. Horry County and Conway City officials will be on hand to ensure the public stays safely outside of the exclusion zone during the demolition period.

Public in the area may hear two series of sirens, the first coming five minutes before detonation and the second at one minute before detonation. The detonation will sound like a rapid and brief series of fireworks. Lastly, the public may hear sounds associated with the stacks falling to the ground. Once the detonation begins, the process is expected to last less than a minute.

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.

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