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

Santee Cooper began studying the feasibility of wind energy in 2005, and has worked alongside other stakeholders in a series of research initiatives since that time. 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.

Most recently, weather buoys placed by Santee Cooper, Coastal Carolina University, N.C. State and the South Carolina Energy Office measured wind speeds, direction and frequency along two paths off the coast of Horry and Georgetown counties, indicating that the best of those two locations lies just off the coast of Winyah Bay in Georgetown.

Santee Cooper is contracting now for a preliminary design and cost estimate for potential construction of an anemometer tower that would document hub-height wind data at that Winyah Bay location. Santee Cooper’s board of directors will decide on new wind energy projects based on the best interests of Santee Cooper customers, considering cost of power, reliability and environmental benefits.

We are also exploring applications for smaller wind turbines on shore, and in November 2010 Santee Cooper made South Carolina history as the first utility to install a wind turbine and connect it to the grid. The 2.4-kW Skystream wind turbine, located oceanfront in North Myrtle Beach, produces about 500 kWh of electricity per month in optimal conditions, which would power about 40 percent of a typical residential household. Perhaps more important, the turbine visibility promotes awareness of wind energy and ties into ongoing efforts to incorporate offshore wind into the state’s energy mix.

There are no offshore wind installations anywhere in the United States, and so there are many challenges still to resolve. Santee Cooper is also part of initiatives now evaluating permitting needs and identifying transmission issues.