South Carolina Utility to Market Green Tags Statewide

September 27, 2006

The Board of Directors of Santee Cooper approved a plan for the utility to expand its Green Power program statewide. The expansion is part of a five-year plan the utility announced in late 2005 to add solar, wind, and small landfill gas generators to its power generation mix.

Currently, the Santee Cooper Green Power is available to its residential and commercial customers in Berkeley, Georgetown, and Horry counties in eastern South Carolina. Under the program, the utility sells blocks of 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh) at $3 from a landfill gas generating facility in Lee County (see an April 2005 news story about the landfill facility published by EERE). Currently there are 2100 residential customers and 420 commercial customers that subscribe.

The statewide program will involve sales of green tags, which represent the renewable and environmental attributes of the renewable power generation that are sold separately from the electricity. The cost for its green tags will be the same per kWh as for Green Power, but Santee Cooper plans to sell them in blocks of 1,000 kWh, with volume discounts available for large purchases. Santee Cooper says its green tag sales will be certified by Green-e, which is an organization in San Francisco that certifies utility green power programs nationwide. See an explanation of green tags, also known as renewable energy certificates, on the EERE Green Power Network.

Santee Cooper is the state-owned electric and water utility headquartered in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, that directly serves more than 150,000 customers. The utility also generates the power distributed by the state's 20 electric cooperatives to more than 665,000 customers in all 46 counties in South Carolina. Santee Cooper says it one of the few utilities in the country that invests 100% of its revenue from sales of green power into new renewable energy generation.

The utility decided to expand its sales of green tags statewide because it has more renewable energy generating capacity on its system—14.2 megawatts— than it has green power customers. For more information about the green tag program, see the Santee Cooper September 26 press release.

Construction Complete on first S.C. Solar Green Power Site

Santee Cooper also announced in September that construction is moving ahead on schedule to complete the first solar green power generation in South Carolina on October 31. Santee Cooper teamed up with Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, to install solar panels on four multi-use pavilions on a campus thoroughfare. Construction has been under way for eight months. For details, see the Santee Cooper September 5 news release.