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Santee Cooper Blog

Storm Ready


May 24, 2016   By Susan Mungo in Storms and Outages

A hurricane as seen from space can be a tremendously large storm system with the potential to affect millions of people who should always be prepared to keep themselves, their families and their property safe.

The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season officially begins June 1, and ends Nov. 1. Now is the time to make sure you have a plan and have prepared should a storm threaten our area.

I had only been working at Santee Cooper for about nine months when Hurricane Hugo devasted our direct service territory, which is portions of Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry counties.  I can still remember the confusion and chaos those first few hours after the storm. We were very fortunate that even though our entire system was down, we worked together with the help of the state’s electric cooperatives and crews from surrounding states and had all power restored across the state within two weeks.  We had emergency action plans in place, even some 27 years ago, and that helped us bring back the light that much more efficiently.

We have learned something from every storm that has come our way.  At Santee Cooper, we use that information to fine tune or even change... Continue Reading >>

Electric Utilities are the Answer to any Energy Problem


May 17, 2016   By Elizabeth Kress in Energy Matters

Public power has served America with reliable, affordable electricity for more than a century and is blazing a new path with renewable, cleaner energy in the future.

Too often today, it seems much of the public sees electric utilities as “the problem.”  The problem could be any of several.

Take your pick: rates too high, global warming, too much carbon dioxide emissions, not enough renewables, etc.  This blog will argue that the electric utilities are, in fact, the future answer and solution to these problems.

Electric utilities will be there to supply the energy that meets the future needs of our country.  When the public decides that it wants more renewable or carbon-free power, electric utilities will be there to find the best mix of renewables or carbon-free generation to fill that need. If the homeowner decides to supply some of his own power needs with solar panels, the electric utility will be there as backup to make sure the lights stay on, even if it rains for a fortnight.

Utilities understand generation choices and costs, and how to operate an electric grid so that i... Continue Reading >>

A dozen things you can do this summer to enhance water quality on the Santee Cooper Lakes


May 11, 2016   By Willard Strong in Santee Cooper Lakes
This month has Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of the summer boating season. Whether you’re there for the day, the weekend or live on the water year round, there are things you can do to keep the Santee Cooper Lakes cleaner for everyone. So let’s get started.

1. Don’t litter . Keep a litter bag on your boat and at the shoreline, and use it. Don’t throw discarded fishing line or tackle overboard, or cigarette butts.

2. Properly dispose of waste from cleaning fish . It smells and is attractive to insects, vermin and other animals.

3. Don’t use the lakes as a restroom . Try to go before you go. On your boat, investing in a portable potty might not be a bad idea and can extend your hours on the water.

4. Keep your outboard motor or inboard-outboard engine tuned up . A cleaner running engine reduces the amount of emissions going into the environment.

5. Use synt... Continue Reading >>

It's always sunny in Bamberg


May 05, 2016   By Nicole Aiello in Green Power

Santee Cooper’s newest Solar School was dedicated April 29 in Bamberg, one of 28 Solar Schools in the state.

It’s always fun to see children get excited about learning. It’s even more fun to see them get excited when learning about energy. That’s exactly what happened Friday when Santee Cooper joined Bamberg Board of Public Works and Bamberg School District 1 in the dedication of Richard Carroll Elementary at our newest Solar School.

The school has been equipped with a solar cell array that is already producing electricity from the sun’s rays, providing students with a firsthand look at the opportunities and challenges of solar power. Students, educators and Bamberg public works employees gathered under sunny skies to support the program and dedicate the 2-kw solar array. Richard Carroll Elementary Solar School is the 28th Solar School in South Carolina.

The Solar Schools initiative was designed to encourage interest in the environment and demonstrate the feasibility and limitations of renewable power generation. Each Solar School u... Continue Reading >>

Follow the Energy Star to savings!


April 28, 2016   By Willard Strong in Reduce The Use

 

When you go shopping for a major appliance such as a refrigerator, freezer, washer or TV, or an even bigger purchase such as a heat pump, do you take the extra step to make sure they’re Energy Star qualified?

If you do, you’re among the millions of people who have embraced this federal program instituted in 1992 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Energy Star-qualified appliances use electricity more efficiently, saving you money on your power bill. Even if the Energy Star product costs a little more up front, it will typically pay for itself over time, often with dramatic results. Check out www.energystar.gov.

Energy Star has an impressive track record. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, from the time Energy Star came on the national scene, “...families and businesses have realized savings of more than $362 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 2.4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over ... Continue Reading >>

Happy Earth Day, GOFER!


April 20, 2016   By Jessica Yourko in Environmental Stewardship
This Friday, for the 46 th time, we will once again celebrate a movement that was conceived to generate passion and motivate people to action.  On April 22, we will celebrate Earth Day.

Earth Day began in 1970 as a way to bring an increased awareness to the importance of environmental protection.  Twenty million Americans took to the streets, coast to coast, to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. Today, Earth Day is celebrated in more than 193 countries.

In 1990, to commemorate the 20 th anniversary of Earth Day, Santee Cooper began the Give Oil For Energy Recovery (GOFER) pilot program.  Within two days, nearly 700 hundred gallons of used motor oil were collected in Horry and Berkeley counties. Sadly, prior to this effort and through the decades, hundreds of thousands if not millions of gallons of used motor oil was soaked up into the soil, wetlands, and waterways in South Carolina because of the lack of easily acce... Continue Reading >>