Santee Cooper Blog

Biogas and Renewables Trends – Fresh from California
April 14, 2014   By Elizabeth Kress in Green Energy
Thanks to some low airfares, I recently attended AgSTAR's 2014 National Workshop in San Diego, and also spent a day at BioCycle's related conference called REFOR14 West. AgSTAR is the Environmental Protection Agency's voluntary outreach and educational program that encourages the recovery and use of biogas (e.g. methane) collected from animal manure and other agricultural waste. The REFOR14 West conference focused on renewable energy from organics recycling.

Organics recycling has expanded to include recovering food scraps. This is often part of an effort where a city or business decides to attain zero-waste status. Some states, like Massachusetts, are running out of landfill space and have to find new ways to get rid of waste.

My friends look askance at the composting container on my sink, but I learned to do this from my grandma and mom, who had farming in their families and always recycled nutrients for the soil. Now, the hot trend in organics recy... Continue Reading >>

Santee Cooper earns RP3 Diamond Level Designation
April 10, 2014   By Susan Mungo in Energy Matters
Gen. George S. Patton Jr. is credited with saying, "pressure makes diamonds."  And while we may be in the Utility business, recently we learned something about being a diamond when we received the Diamond Level designation RP3 award from the American Public Power Association .

RP3 is a program by APPA that recognizes utilities that demonstrate high proficiency in reliability, safety, work-force development and system improvement. Criteria within each of the four RP3 areas are based upon sound business practices and recognized industry-leading practices.

Ninety-four of the nation's more than 2,000 public power utilities earned the APPA RP3 award this year, and only 26 received the Diamond Level designation.

Mike Poston, vice president of Retail Operations says, "The RP3 diamond status represents a much appreciated recognition of the efforts of our employees who put in a lot of hard work to bring safe, reliable, low-cost power to those ... Continue Reading >>

Santee Cooper earns national safety award
April 07, 2014   By Nicole Aiello in Safety
You might have heard us say this once or twice or 20 times, but it's worth repeating – safety is Santee Cooper's No. 1 priority. We strive to provide reliable, low-cost electricity and water to our customers in the safest way possible. And with employees who work in potentially dangerous situations, safety isn't just a topic of conversation, it's a way of life.

This morning at the American Public Power Association's ( APPA ) annual Engineering & Operations Technical Conference , it was announced that Santee Cooper earned APPA's Safety Award of Excellence for safe operating practices in 2013. We took home the first place award in the category for large utilities, with 1million to 3.9 million worker-hours of annual worker exposure.

This award really is a testament to our employees' dedication to safety. Needless to say, we're extremely proud to have earned APPA's Safety Award for Excellence. Rose Foster, senior safety specialist for Santee Cooper,... Continue Reading >>

Growing tomorrow's engineers with solar power
April 03, 2014   By Willard Strong in Green Power
Santee Cooper was part of dedicating another Green Power Solar School on April 2, and this one's near North Augusta, in the Edgefield County School District .

What this means is that a 2-kilowatt solar array has been installed on the grounds of Merriwether Middle School . Power from the sun gives students the opportunity get some hands-on experience with solar power. Santee Cooper does these projects by partnering with the electric co-ops in the state (in this instance Aiken Electric Co-op ). As many of you know, Santee Cooper is the source of almost 100 percent of the power needs of the state's 20 distribution co-ops, and it's been that way for more than 60 years.

April 2 was a bright and sunny day at the school, perfect for event. Right at 11 a.m., a group of sixth graders were led outside to witness a gathering of grown-ups from the co-op, the school, the school district and from Santee Cooper.

After attending a half dozen of these, the... Continue Reading >>

Call before you dig. You dig?
March 31, 2014   By Kevin F. Langston in Safety
I haven't had to memorize a phone number since I bought my first mobile phone over a decade ago. Still, there are some phone numbers that are just hard-wired into my memory like my parents' home or my best friend's cell. There's 911 for emergencies, of course, and its siblings: 411 for directory assistance, and 211 for United Way assistance.

A lesser known, however no less important, phone number to memorize is 811 . Calling 811 puts you in touch with the Palmetto Utility Protection Service ( PUPS ). If you've got a project planned for your property that involves any digging whatsoever, PUPS are the people you need to call beforehand. It doesn't matter if you're installing a new mailbox, fence post, flagpole, or basketball backboard. Even if you're just tilling the soil for some azaleas, a new dogwood, or that herb garden you've been promising yourself, 811 needs to know.

When you call 811, you'll speak with an operator who will ask you some basic ques... Continue Reading >>

The inaugural Big Fish Big Bucks Derby on the Santee Cooper Lakes
March 27, 2014   By Kevin F. Langston in Santee Cooper Lakes
Unless you're one of the approximately 170,000 electric customers we serve directly in South Carolina, odds are the name "Santee Cooper" to you means lakes Marion and Moultrie, which are often referred to as the Santee Cooper Lakes. The Santee Cooper Lakes were created over 80 years ago by the Santee Cooper Hydroelectric and Navigation Project, which also established the South Carolina Public Service Authority ( our formal name ) in part to help bring electricity to rural South Carolina.

At approximately 110,000 acres Lake Marion is South Carolina's largest lake, while the 60,000-acre Lake Moultrie is the state's third largest. Together, they offer some 450 miles of shoreline and ample recreational opportunities for boaters, sportsmen and anglers alike. The lakes are particularly famous for the landlocked striped bass and once held the world record for a 55-pound haul.

The Santee Cooper Lakes have also yielded a record-sized Arkansas Blue Catfish, and the... Continue Reading >>