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Showing posts by author Susan Jackson  Show all posts >

From Power Plant to Peanut Production


September 06, 2017   By Susan Jackson in Environmental Stewardship

Gypsum produced at a Santee Cooper generating station is applied to peanut plants at a farm in Orangeburg County.

Synthetic gypsum is formed when fossil-fueled power plants use their flue-gas desulfurization (FGD) systems to remove sulfur dioxide from the stack gases.

Using a process referred to as “scrubbing,” stack gases are fed through calcium carbonate (i.e. limestone) to eliminate impurities and environmental concerns. When the sulfur dioxide is removed, synthetic gypsum is formed.

The majority of the synthetic gypsum at Santee Cooper’s Cross Generating Station was dewatered and trucked to a wallboard facility where it is used to make drywall. However, some of the synthetic gypsum wasn’t able to be dewatered so it had been sent to a lined wastewater pond.

In 2016, Santee Cooper began excavating this quality gypsum from the pond and stacking it in large stockpiles. After allowing it to dry naturally and extensive testing, it was decided that this gypsum could be used for agriculture. After receiving approval from the S.C.... Continue Reading >>

Diversity is the key to successful long-term energy strategy


November 02, 2016   By Susan Jackson in Environmental Stewardship
Most financial advisers agree a well-diversified portfolio is preferable over putting all money eggs in one basket.

The same holds true for our nation’s energy portfolio and diversification is the key to meeting national electricity requirements. Coal and gas, both abundant and economical fossil fuels, continue to be an important part of that mix, and will continue as a dominant global energy source far into the future.

With technology and regulations we have mastered previous environmental challenges associated with coal, such as achieving significant reductions in sulfur dioxide or SO2. Yet, coal continues to be challenged because of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Options, such as the use of carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies, are needed to address CO2. BP Energy Outlook 2016 notes levels of CO2 emissions are expected to grow by 20 percent from 2014 to 2035

The United States Secretary of Energy Ernest... Continue Reading >>

Beneficial use of Fly Ash: An environmental win for water, CO2 and energy savings


September 14, 2016   By Susan Jackson in Power Delivery

Reclaiming coal ash at Santee Cooper’s now retired Grainger Generating Station site.

Coal combustion products (CCP) are the minerals that remain once coal is burned to generate electricity.

Fly ash, one of the largest groups of CCPs, is a fine powdery material that years ago would “fly” out of a power plant’s stacks. Today’s power plants collect more than 99.99 percent of the fly ash. Fly ash can be used as mineral filler in paints and shingles. It can also be used to make stuccos and mortars and even bowling balls. The largest application is for the production of concrete.

Santee Cooper has a long history of beneficial use of CCPs. In 2005, fly ash from Santee Cooper’s Winyah Generating Station was to make concrete for building Charleston’s Ravenel Bridge in Charleston.

The beneficial use of ash is a great way to reduce landfill disposals and to remove ash from ash ponds. Santee Cooper has recycled more than 325,000 tons of fly ash from Cross Generating Station in 2015 and... Continue Reading >>