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Santee Cooper Blog

2015 Economic Development in Review


February 03, 2016   By Annie Caggiano in Economic Development

Volvo Cars broke ground on its new car manufacturing facility in Berkeley County in Sept. 2015. The new plant will initially produce the next-generation Volvo S60 sedan.

2015 represented an outstanding year for Santee Cooper and our electric cooperative partners . It all began with one of our strongest Januarys on record: By Jan. 28, we'd announced over $190 million in capital investment and 800 new jobs. Just four months later we announced that Volvo Cars would be building its first U.S. facility right here in Berkeley County. The announcement represented a $500 million capital investment and 2,000 jobs. In partnership with our electric cooperatives, we finished the year strong with a total announced investment of more than $1.4 billion and 5,085 jobs.

Looking back

There is a ton of work that goes on before any ribbon is cut or shovel of dirt is turned. For the staff of Santee Cooper and our partner, the South Carolina Power Team , this involves marketing our service territories directly to company executives, site location consultants and industrial product developers. It was a busy year:

Product Develo... Continue Reading >>

More than milk and bread


January 27, 2016   By Jessica Yourko in Customer Care

Recent winters have brought severe winter weather to South Carolina, and it's just as important to plan for these events as you would for a hurricane. (Photo by Jim Huff)

Last Saturday morning, I awoke to Winter Strom Jonas: a dreary sky, some pretty cold temperatures and a light dusting of snow on my back deck. By 10 a.m., it was all gone and our life was back to normal. Further up the East Coast, our neighbors to the north weren't quite as lucky.

While we don't typically see this type of winter weather, you just never know when our luck may run out.

Severe winter weather usually comes with strong winds, freezing rain, and dangerously low temperatures. It is critical to be prepared and have a plan before a storm like this strikes.

Are you ready? What would you do? Keep these tips in mind when preparing for winter weather:

BEFORE

Prepare an emergency kit to include a 3-day supply of water and food for each person Assemble a First Aid kit Gather all medications (at least a 7-day supply) Check/charge flashlight and radio batteries Charge all mobile devices Have extra ca... Continue Reading >>

Paying your bills is now a one-stop shop


January 20, 2016   By Susan Mungo in Customer Care
I love things that make life more convenient, like paying my bills online or through automatic draft. I especially love the convenience of being able to accomplish many things with a single stop. You know what I mean: the whole "one-stop shop" concept.

At Santee Cooper, we are trying to make life more of a one-stop shop for our customers. We've added a new method to our list of easy and convenient ways to pay . Now any Western Union Agent location in the United States will take your Santee Cooper payment. That adds over 1,300 bill-pay locations in South Carolina alone. Wow.

What's better is many of these WU Agent locations are inside stores where you shop for other things: places like Walgreens, Bi-Lo, Food Lion, Piggly Wiggly, Rite Aid and a host of others.

If you want to find the closest place to make your payment, you can use the easy Western Union locator link. All locations take cash payments, and certain locations accept ch... Continue Reading >>

Winter Energy Conservation Tips That Could Save You Money


January 13, 2016   By Guest Contributor in Reduce The Use

Visit www.reducetheuse.com for more energy-saving tips from Santee Cooper.

The following was written by guest contributor Kate McCabe. McCabe is an engineer in Santee Cooper's Career Foundation program. She graduated from the University of South Carolina in May 2015 with a degree in electrical engineering.

As the ball dropped to ring in the New Year, unfortunately, so did the temperatures. With cold weather creeping in, you may be feeling the impact on more than just your clothing choices. Cold weather can also drive up your power bill if you're not paying attention. Here are some tips to help both you and your wallet stay bundled up this winter.

Let the Sun Shine!

Open the blinds over your south-facing windows during the day and allow the natural sunlight to flood the room! Mother Nature can help heat your home for free! At night, be sure to close the blinds to help block out the cold.

Speaking of windows, check them for drafts . Inspect your doors, too. There are many products on the market that c... Continue Reading >>

Why we spill when we spill


January 06, 2016   By Kevin F. Langston in Santee Cooper Lakes

An aerial photo of the Santee Spillway taken during October's spilling operations

While many of us were opening presents on Christmas morning, Santee Cooper was opening floodgates at the Santee Spillway on Lake Marion. It was the third time in as many months that we'd be releasing water into the Santee River.

The Santee Cooper Lakes are part of a 15,000 square-mile watershed that stretches into North Carolina — the second largest watershed east of the Mississippi River. Our lakes are at the end of this line, so when we're under drought conditions it's unlikely we'll get very much water from the reservoirs above us. On the other hand, when it floods, that water is coming our way.

Prolonged rainfall throughout this watershed, combined with spilling operations from upstream reservoirs, brought the latest extreme inflows to lakes Marion and Moultrie. We began this current spill on Dec. 25 at a rate of 20,000 cubic feet of water per second (cfs) and brought it to a peak of 97,000 cfs by Jan. 4. We reduced spilling yesterday to 60,000... Continue Reading >>

A breath of fresh air


December 22, 2015   By Jay Hudson in Energy Matters

Source: www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/Air/MostCommonPollutants/Ozone/NAAQS/

On Oct. 1, the  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the final National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone at 70 parts per billion (ppb), which is below the 2008 standard of 75 ppb.

The proposed rule considered changing the standard to as low as 60 ppb, and I discussed concerns over an unjustifiably low ozone standard earlier this year . While Santee Cooper urged EPA to not modify the standard at all, the agency did respond to scientifically based comments and kept the standard at the higher end of the range.

What's positive about this development is South Carolina is ready to comply. In the past decade, when some ozone levels were over 80 ppb, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) established local air quality partnerships with local governments to encourage and implement voluntary efforts to reduce ozone precursors such as nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds (mostly from vehicle exhaus... Continue Reading >>