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A Green Power Milestone

August 26, 2015   By Kevin F. Langston in Green Power

Our Green Power program achieved a major milestone this week when it generated its 1 millionth megawatt-hour of electricity after nearly 14 years of continuous production. (That's enough renewable energy to power more than 74,000 average-sized homes for a year.)

Santee Cooper was the first utility in South Carolina to generate renewable Green Power beginning in September 2001 with the Horry County Landfill Generating Station, which produces electricity from methane gas created naturally by decomposing garbage. We also brought the state's first Green Power solar station to the campus of Coastal Carolina University in 2006.

We now have more than 28 megawatts of Green Power capacity, including six landfill biogas stations, three solar arrays, and one wind turbine. Since dedicating the state's first Green Power Generating Station at the Horry County Landfill, additional landfill generating stations have opened in Anderson, Berkeley, Georgetown, Lee, and Richland counties.

In addition to the Coastal Carolina University Green Power Solar Pavilions, our solar generation comes from facilities at the Technical College of the Lowcountry and the Grand Strand Solar Station. We also have a small wind turbine in North Myrtle Beach that contributes to the Green Power mix.

Certified by Green-e Energy, Santee Cooper Green Power is made from clean, renewable South Carolina resources that meet strict and specific national consumer and environmental standards. Because Green Power is typically more expensive to generate than traditional sources of electricity, we offer customers the chance to voluntarily support the program through their monthly electric bills. Residential customers can buy as little as 100 kWh for $3 per month and additional 100-kWh blocks for $3 each. Commercial customers can purchase 200 kWh blocks for $6 each. For customers who are not served by Santee Cooper or an electric cooperative, we also offer Green Tags for purchase.

We also offer renewable energy for Green Power events; perhaps the most visible of these for the past seven years has been the Heritage golf tournament on Hilton Head Island. Other events such as Darlington Raceway’s Southern 500 weekend, Celebrate The Season in Moncks Corner, Conway Riverfest, the St. Stephen Catfish Festival, and North Myrtle Beach’s Mayfest on Main have also been powered by Green Power.

Santee Cooper sold 21,938 MWh of Green Power in 2014, and all sales support additional renewable energy resources throughout South Carolina. One way Green Power sales are used is through the Solar Schools program, which currently has 26 demonstration solar projects teaching students first-hand about renewable energy at schools across the state.

Most of our Green Power generating stations are located on electric cooperative systems. The cooperatives have been enthusiastic supporters of Santee Cooper Green Power and promote it to their member owners, who can voluntarily purchase it each month. It's through the cooperative network that Santee Cooper Green Power reaches every county in South Carolina.

Anyone interested in supporting our Green Power program by purchasing blocks of renewable energy can call 843-347-3399 or 843-761-8000. You can also visit any of our customer service locations.