Green Power is energy generated from renewable sources: methane, solar, and wind.
Solar Energy

Solar Energy is no different than the energy created by electric utilities; only the environmentally-friendly process by which it is created is different.

The sun is essentially a huge power plant sending 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 from the sun. When these photons hit the surface of a photovoltaic cell (The large panels on houses, calculators or in solar energy farms), they help produce an electrical current that can be tapped for use in appliances.

There are currently six Green Power Solar demonstration projects in the state.

Grand Strand Solar Station
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Capacity:  311 kilowatts
Commercial Operation:  April 2011

The Grand Strand Solar Station has a rated capacity of 311 kilowatts generated by 1,325 solar panels. The panels are mounted on rooftops and an adjacent field at Santee Cooper’s warehouse facilities in Myrtle Beach.  There is a pull-off area and signage to accommodate vistors who want to learn more about solar power.  The panels are designed to withstand winds of 130 mph and 1-inch hail at 52 mph. 

Coastal Carolina University
Location:  Conway, S.C.
Capacity:  16 kilowatts
Commercial Operation:  July 2006

In 2006, the first solar Green Power site was dedicated in South Carolina at Coastal Carolina University. Photovoltaic modules were installed on four open-air structures, each measuring 27 feet by 22 feet. The structures are used as a bus stop shelter and for other campus events. Also located at the site are special metering equipment that enables viewers to see how much electricity is being produced at any moment.  A nearby educational Web-based exhibit includes access to site performance data and other renewable energy information.

Center for Hydrogen Rearch (CHR)
Location:  Aiken, S.C.
Capacity:  20 kilowatts
Commercial Operation:  May 2009 

The photovoltaic array is installed in two locations, on the roof of the CHR connected to the Education, Training and Development Laboratory, and in a ground-level solar park that will give access to school groups, and other interested parties. The roof hosts a 14 kilowatt set of panels, and the solar park holds the remaining 6 killowatt set.

Technical College of the Lowcountry

Location:  Bluffton, S.C.
Capacity:  20 kilowatts
Commercial Operation:  February 2010

In early 2010, Santee Cooper, Palmetto Electric Cooperative and the Technical College of the Lowcountry (TCL) dedicated a 20-kilowatt solar array at TCL’s New River Campus. The solar project includes a series of nine canopies, each covered with 10 solar panels and sheltering a bench, adding another level of functionality to the installation. The electricity generated by the panels are metered and supplied to the grid through Palmetto Electric Cooperative’s distribution system.

Center for Advanced Technical Studies (CATS)

Location:  Chapin, S.C.
Capacity:  4 kilowatts
Commercial Operation:  December 2016

The solar project is unique such that there are two separate arrays comprised of one fixed-tilt and one dual-axis tracking array, each at 2 kilowatts of capacity.  The solar array is also incorporated into the school's curriculum where students enrolled in the Clean Energy Technology Class learn about solar energy and study the differences between the arrays.

York Electric Cooperative

Location:  Fort Mill, S.C.
Capacity:  8 kilowatts
Commercial Operation:  March 2014

The solar project is located outside the York Electric Cooperative Fort Mill office and consists of four pole-mounted solar arrays at 2 kilowatts each.  All the energy produced by the array is sent to the grid and consumed by customers.

Green Power Solar Schools - (Click here for more information on solar schools)

Through the Green Power Solar Schools program, Santee Cooper and the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina partner to install 2 kilowatt displays at schools statewide.  Students at these schools learn about renewable energy through a state approved curriculum.  We're educating tomorrow's leaders about the opportunities and limitations of solar power.

We're educating tomorrow's leaders about the opportunities and limitations of solar power.