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Santee Cooper signs renewable energy contract with Green Energy Solutions

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Staff Report
Published Jan. 24, 2012

Santee Cooper’s board of directors approved a contract Monday with Green Energy Solutions for up to 25 megawatts of electricity generated from renewable resources in South Carolina.

Alabama-based GES will in turn obtain agreements with individual farms to make up the 25 megawatts of electricity. The first site will be a 540-kilowatt station at Cypress Poultry Farm near Manning. It is expected to be online in January 2013, with similar anaerobic digester projects coming online at farms across the state over the next six years.

The fuel source will be biogas produced through anaerobic digestion of poultry, swine, cow and other organic agricultural waste.

Depending on the size of each project, GES could work with 50 or more farms across South Carolina to provide the 25 megawatts. Santee Cooper now has more than 200 megawatts of renewable electricity generation already online or under contract, using sustainable South Carolina resources including landfill gas, biogas, solar energy and wind energy.

One megawatt can power about 500 average South Carolina homes.

“Green Energy Solutions is providing Santee Cooper with another source of renewable electricity that is affordable and reliable, helping us continue to grow our sustainable generation in a way that is practical for our customers,” said Lonnie Carter, Santee Cooper president and CEO. “As an added benefit, this project will also benefit our state’s farmers by offering them another revenue source.”

“Every branch of agriculture can benefit from our biogas system facilities,” added Julian Cothran, GES president. “In addition to turning methane biogas into a revenue-producing product, the GES system will create jobs in support of our processing and generating facilities. Finally, this system will help the good-neighbor image of the farmer by producing byproducts that are odorless, free of pathogens and 99% free of all weed seeds.”

Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s state-owned electric and water utility, and the state’s largest power producer. The source of electricity for 2 million South Carolinians, Santee Cooper is dedicated to being the state’s leading resource for improving the quality of life for the people of South Carolina.

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