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Santee Cooper Environmental Intern Program turns 25; Interns gain valuable experience on environmental needs


MONCKS CORNER, S.C. — Each year, twelve gifted South Carolina college students apply their knowledge from textbooks and labs to a hands-on learning experience as Santee Cooper Environmental Interns.

The Environmental Intern Program turns 25 this summer and has hosted a total of 261 participants since 1990. As in past years, this year's interns are gaining knowledge on an electric utility's role in balancing the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity with the challenges and opportunities of renewable energy and other environmental matters.

Each intern spends six weeks of their 10-week internship rotating through three environmental areas of the company. Nine areas of the company participate: Air and Water Quality, Analytical and Biological Services, Coal Combustion Products and Waste Management, Investment Recovery, Property Management, Old Santee Canal Park, Renewable Energy, Right-of-Way Management and Vector Management.

This year, around 100 students applied for the internship and twelve were chosen from throughout the state. Of the 12, seven represent each South Carolina congressional district and five represent the state at large. The program is particularly competitive, and after their summer with Santee Cooper, the interns will leave the utility with insightful knowledge they can apply to their classes and future careers.

The 2015 environmental interns are: Kendra Barnes, a senior from Aiken majoring in environmental science at Claflin University; Kendall Blaine, a junior from Lexington majoring in electrical engineering at Clemson University; Maggie Boyd, a junior from Fort Mill majoring in mechanical engineering at Clemson University; Dalton Caine, a senior from Columbia majoring in civil engineering at Clemson University; Stephen Clements, a senior from Mount Pleasant majoring in environmental and natural resources at Clemson University; Emma Coleman, a junior from Columbia majoring in biosystems engineering at Clemson University; Alexandra Golden, a junior from Clover with a double major in biology and anthropology at the University of South Carolina- Columbia; Quenton Jones, a senior from Summerton majoring in computer engineering at Claflin University; Samuel Jones, a senior from Florence majoring in environmental engineering at Clemson University; Damon Tunnell, a junior from Loris majoring in computer engineering at Clemson University; Davis Wells, a senior from Spartanburg majoring in environmental engineering at Clemson University; and Avery Wood, a junior from Gray Court in a dual degree mathematics and electrical engineering program at Lander and Clemson universities.

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