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Renewable Energy

Santee Cooper is South Carolina's leader in generating electricity from renewable resources, with 105 MW online or under contract. 

We have successfully done this through utilizing renewable resources that are cost-efficient and through partnering with others to bring the cost down.

Renewable generation is part of our long-term commitment to environmental stewardship — to meet more of our customers' needs with renewable energy, energy efficiency and electricity that does not emit greenhouse gases (like nuclear power). Renewable Energy Map

Our renewable portfolio stretches across the state, from Anderson and Horry counties to Bluffton. We certify some the electricity we're generating ourselves — from landfill biogas, solar and wind power — as Green Power, which means it meets strict and specific consumer standards. We purchase our woody and agricultural biomass power from independent power producers in South Carolina who utilize sustainable procedures.

Our newest program, Santee Cooper Solar, helps customers enjoy the benefits of solar power whether they install rooftop systems or subscribe to the state's first community solar program, Solar Share , which offers Santee Cooper customers the opportunity to purchase the output from a share of the Colleton Solar Farm.

Santee Cooper Renewable Energy is made in South Carolina from South Carolina resources, and it's helping power our state forward.

 

Biomass

Biomass is a broad category of renewable energy sources that are generated from living, or recently living, organisms. Common forms of biomass include forest and other wood waste, yard waste and animal waste. Santee Cooper has several contracts with independent power producers to generate biomass from wood waste and landfill gas. 

  • Landfill Gas: As landfill waste decomposes, it produces methane gas, which can be converted into energy through a process that also reduces greenhouse-gas emissions. Santee Cooper is the only energy provider in South Carolina converting landfill methane gas into clean, homegrown electricity at six Green Power Generating Stations with a combined capacity of 28 MW.

 

  • Woody Biomass: As the name implies, woody biomass uses woody material from trees or shrubs to produce electricity. It's most often transformed to renewable energy through direct combustion, either alone or co-fired with coal. Woody biomass is often regarded as "carbon neutral," so it produces fewer net greenhouse gas emissions than traditional fossil fuels. Typically, woody biomass materials are the byproducts of various forestry operations (e.g. harvesting and thinning). Through purchase-power contracts, Santee Cooper has 74 MW of woody biomass capacity.

Solar Power

Think of the sun as a huge power plant that sends out waves of energy made up of small particles called photons. These photons enter the earth's atmosphere and are responsible for the heat and light that we receive. When these photons hit the surface of a photovoltaic (PV) cell, they help produce an electrical current that can be harnessed.

Santee Cooper has five solar demonstration projects in the state including the 311-kW Grand Strand Solar Station in Myrtle Beach. The 16-kW display at Coastal Carolina University in Conway was the first Green Power site dedicated in South Carolina. Two additional 20-kW displays reside at the Center for Hydrogen Research in Aiken and the Technical College of the Lowcountry in Bluffton. An 8 kW system installed at York Electric Cooperative's office in Fort Mill is our newest solar installation.

Through our Green Power Solar Schools program, we work with the electric cooperatives of South Carolina to install 2-kW displays at schools throughout the state. Students at these schools then learn about the promise and limitations of renewable energy through a curriculum we developed.

Our largest source of solar power is the Colleton Solar Farm, a 3-MW facility and the largest solar installation in South Carolina. With 10,010 solar panels covering approximately 14 acres, the Colleton Solar Farm was built in 2013 and is owned by TIG Sun Energy, a division of The InterTech Group, under contract with Santee Cooper.

Through Solar Share — the state's first community solar program — customers can subscribe to portions of the Colleton Solar Farm's output and receive monthly energy credits. Our Solar Home and Solar Business programs offer rebates and resources to help customers add rooftop solar systems to their home or business. 

Click to see the Colleton Solar Farm's real-time and historical performance data. 

    

Aynor Middle School - served by Horry Electric Cooperative

Bennettsville Middle School - served by Marlboro Electric Cooperative

Carver-Edisto Middle School - served by Edisto Electric Cooperative

Carver Bay Middle School - served by Santee Electric Cooperative

Chapin Middle School - served by Mid-Carolina Cooperative

Chesterfield-Ruby Middle School - served by Lynches River Electric Cooperative

Clover Middle School - served by York Cooperative

Diamond Hill Middle School - served by Little River Electric Cooperative

Hardeeville-Ridgeland Middle School - served by Palmetto Cooperative

Haut Gap Middle School - served by Berkeley Electric Cooperative

Hillcrest Middle School - served by Black River Electric Cooperative

Hilton Head Middle School - served by Palmetto Electric Cooperative

Hopkins Middle School - served by Tri-County Electric Cooperative

Jonesville Elementary Middle School - served by Broad River Electric Cooperative

Leslie M. Stover Middle School - served by Fairfield Electric Cooperative

Mauldin Middle School - served by Laurens Electric Cooperative

Merriwether Middle School - served by Aiken Electric Cooperative

Muller Road Middle School - served by Fairfield Cooperative

Myrtle Beach Middle School - served by Santee Cooper

New Ellenton Middle School - served by Aiken Electric Cooperative

Plainview Elementary School - served by Pee Dee Cooperative

Richard Carroll Elementary - served by City of Bamberg

Ruffin Middle School - served by Coastal Electric Cooperative

Saluda Trail Middle School - served by City of Rock Hill Utilities

Sangaree Middle School - served by Berkeley Electric Cooperative

Savannah Grove Middle School - served by Pee Dee Electric Cooperative

Springfield Middle School - served by York Electric Cooperative

Tamassee-Salem Middle School - served by Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative

Wind Power

Santee Cooper began studying the feasibility of wind energy in 2005, and has since worked alongside other partners in a series of research initiatives. That research shows that the best potential for generating power from the wind in South Carolina lies offshore, although best estimates indicate the cost for offshore wind generation is about twice the cost of traditional generation.

We are also exploring applications for smaller wind turbines on shore, and we made South Carolina history in November 2010 as the first utility to install a wind turbine and connect it to the grid. The 2.4-kW system is located oceanfront in North Myrtle Beach.