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The Green Power story continues

November 01, 2017   By Elizabeth Kress in Green Energy

Santee Cooper’s Horry Landfill Generating Station is located near Conway at the county’s landfill and was Santee Cooper’s first landfill gas facility, opening in 2001.

Santee Cooper’s Green Power story began when Horry County officials approached Santee Cooper about using its landfill gas to produce electricity.

The technology to do this involves using wells with perforated pipe to draw the gas out of the landfill and onto an engine or turbine which generates electricity. It took more than five years to work out an arrangement to develop the first landfill site, which became operational in September 2001.

At the same time, the public’s interest in renewable energy sources surged. In 2001, Santee Cooper certified the process by which landfill gas produced electricity to the exacting standards of Green-e Energy, and began to offer Green Power for sale to customers who want a greener or reduced-carbon option for their electricity. Santee Cooper pledged to use the proceeds of these sales to build more renewable generation.

Since that time, five more landfills have been developed into electricity production sites. The environmental benefits of these projects are remarkable, benefiting the local population and contributing to state-tracked reductions in carbon.

The sales of Green Power helped Santee Cooper to build solar projects at 28 schools around the state, as well as solar projects at Coastal Carolina University, the Technical College of the Lowcountry near Bluffton, and the Center for Hydrogen Research near Aiken.

Green Power funds and a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy obtained through the South Carolina Energy Office helped Santee Cooper build a 311-kilowatt solar project in 2011 on 10th Avenue South in Myrtle Beach.

Solar projects can be seen at the Center for Advanced Technical Studies in Chapin, at Fort Mill in York County and at Trident Technical College in Berkeley County. Three additional projects are also under development or construction.

Each solar project carried forward the awareness and understanding of solar photovoltaics across the state to thousands of students and residents. A small wind project in North Myrtle Beach is evidence of significant behind-the-scenes effort in wind energy research that has positioned this state for significant offshore wind development.

Santee Cooper appreciates our customers who buy renewable energy through the Green Power program. Your purchases have made great things happen for South Carolina.