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Showing posts by author Susan Jackson  Show all posts >

Energy Matters


March 07, 2018   By Susan Jackson in Energy Matters
In order for America to have a strong economy, America needs energy security with a sound energy policy. That means energy has to be affordable, abundant and reliable.

All of our nation’s energy resources, including resources which are not popular due to environmental misconceptions, are needed to maintain energy security. Without a doubt, coal is our nation’s most abundant energy resource, produced domestically, and this abundance leads to affordability.  According to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), coal was the second-largest energy source for U.S. electricity generation in 2016—about 30 percent.

We have all heard for years that coal is a finite resource and the well (or the mine in this case, is running dry). These claims have been made for years. The earliest shortage claim I’ve seen was published in “The Wonders of Science” in 1912 (yes, 1912).

In this science book, Sir William... Continue Reading >>

GOFER in 2017: 1 million gallons of used oil and counting


December 13, 2017   By Susan Jackson in Environmental Stewardship

Step right up with used motor oil for proper disposal. Beginning in 1991, this was Santee Cooper’s first used oil collection facility, located in Moncks Corner on Rembert Dennis Boulevard just north of the entrance to the utility’s corporate headquarters at 1 Riverwood Drive.

The Santee Cooper Give Oil for Energy Recovery (GOFER) program accepts used motor oil from do-it-yourself (DIY) oil changers.

Besides DIYers, the GOFER program accepts oil from commercial and industrial customers. These collections are made statewide and not solely for Santee Cooper power or water customers.   The mission of the program is to provide cost-effective used oil recycling options. This significantly reduces the chance of polluting our soil, ditches and waterways with used oil.

The GOFER program was initiated in 1990 as an Earth Day pollution-prevention program in Berkeley and Georgetown counties. The GOFER program began in earnest in 1991 with one truck---and it has grown to four vacuum trucks with four drivers.

In 2016, 1.3 million gallons of used oil were collected and either recycled or burned as fuel at Santee Cooper’s Winyah Generating Station near Georgetown. In 2017, the program has already collected and... Continue Reading >>

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 >>