MONCKS CORNER, SC – June 30, 2008 – Santee Cooper announced today the utility’s updated Generation Plan, the blueprint outlining how the state’s largest producer of electricity plans to fulfill its obligation to meet the rapidly growing power needs of South Carolinians.
The utility also announced it has submitted its final Maximum Achievable Control Technology analysis, referred to as MACT, to the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), in connection with the Pee Dee Energy Campus in Florence County, S.C.
Updated Generation Plan
In updating the Generation Plan, last issued just two years ago, management worked with nationally respected, independent consultants to account for changes in fuel prices, environmental issues, potential carbon tax credits and/or cap and trade requirements, financial considerations and the state’s growth projections to ensure the lights remain on for all Santee Cooper’s two million direct and indirect customers.
According to Santee Cooper President and CEO Lonnie Carter, the forecasting and data analyses in the new Generation Plan continue to show, as it did in 2006, that even with all Santee Cooper is doing with conservation and efficiency, it is not enough to meet the large baseload power that will be needed to accommodate South Carolina’s growth.
The Generation Plan shows that without additional baseload generation, Santee Cooper will be 490 megawatts (MW) short of capacity in 2013, 675 MW short of capacity in 2016 and 1570 MW short of capacity in 2020.
Specifically, the Generation Plan outlines Santee Cooper’s intention to:
• Save an additional 170 megawatts through new energy efficiency and conservation by 2020• Purchase or generate 250 megawatts of additional renewable energy by 2020
• Continue permitting and construction of one unit at the Pee Dee Energy Campus, to be online in 2013
• Continue permitting for a second unit at the Pee Dee Energy Campus
• Continue to pursue licensing new nuclear power
• Purchase 160 megawatts beginning in 2011 to help bridge the anticipated gap until 2013
• Monitor legislation of potential carbon emissions
At a news conference today announcing the news, Carter said, “This plan reconfirms our three-pronged solution of creating additional conservation and renewable energy, building baseload nuclear power and building baseload coal-fired power to meet the power needs.”
“The good news is that our aggressive efficiency and conservation efforts will save us the equivalent of roughly two large generating units by 2020. The bad news is that if we don’t build baseload generation now, we will still be 1,150 megawatts short of capacity by 2020,” he added.
He added that Santee Cooper is already conserving over 500 megawatts, mostly through demand side management programs—a number that is expected to increase to nearly 1,100 megawatts through the growth of existing and new conservation and renewable energy initiatives by its goal date of 2020.
Last October, Santee Cooper announced an ambitious goal to meet 40 percent of its energy needs through non-greenhouse gas emitting resources, biomass fuels, conservation and energy efficiency by 2020, which is roughly four times its current levels.
Nuclear power and coal-fired power will play a critical baseload role in ensuring that Santee Cooper can meet the projected power shortfall. Santee Cooper and South Carolina Electric and Gas recently submitted an application for a combined operating license to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for two 1,117 MW baseload nuclear power generation units at its existing V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville, S.C. The first unit is projected to come online in 2016, which would make it one of the first nuclear units permitted and built in the Unites States since the 1970s.
The Pee Dee Energy Campus in Florence County, S.C. is a supercritical, high efficiency 600-megawatt coal-fired generation facility near Kingsburg, S.C., that will utilize the highest and best available environmental control technology, resulting in one of the cleanest power plants of its kind in the nation. It is projected to come online in 2013.
Mercury Emissions Limits Through a MACT Analysis
Santee Cooper also recently conducted a MACT analysis, a state-regulated, case-by-case analysis of the environmental technology and emission levels of operating facilities similar to the proposed Pee Dee Energy Campus.
According to Carter, through what was learned in the MACT analysis, Santee Cooper decided to enhance even further its environmental control measures by replacing a planned electrostatic precipitator with a baghouse, the common name for an environmental control technology that uses engineered fabric filter material. Adding a baghouse to the already planned environmental controls will reduce mercury emissions at the Pee Dee Energy Campus to a proposed 57 pounds per year or less, equating to up to 95 percent removal.
In addition, numerous other environmental control technologies at the facility will reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by more than 98 percent, nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 90 percent and particulate matter by more than 99 percent.
The submittal of this analysis paves the way for a minimum 30-day public comment period on its results by DHEC. Santee Cooper welcomes the comment period to assure the public the utility’s emissions are in compliance with state and federal standards and are protective of human health and the environment.
Mercury Education Initiative
In conjunction with the submission of the MACT analysis, Santee Cooper is launching an educational initiative related to mercury emissions. Titled ‘The Real Story on Mercury,’ Carter says it will be a comprehensive effort to convey accurate information on this substantive, and often misunderstood, subject.
“There has been a lot of talk about mercury, especially as it relates to coal-fired power plants. That’s because the issue of mercury—where it comes from and its impact—is complex. We know there are questions, and we want to address them responsibly and accurately,” said Carter.
The public is invited to visit www.TheRealStoryOnMercury.com for full details on this subject. This site offers links to scientific research and the opportunity to engage in an open dialogue with Santee Cooper and a national health expert on mercury.
Among the facts:
• Mercury comes from many sources, including natural ones such as volcanoes
• Mercury travels: mercury levels measured anywhere may have originated thousands of miles away
• Only about 1% of the world’s mercury emissions are produced by U.S. power plants
• The U.S. very strictly regulates mercury emissions
• Santee Cooper’s Pee Dee Energy Campus will comply with every federal and state environmental standard, including mercury emissions
“Producing power from these coal plants does involve a small amount of mercury emissions,” Carter said. “Responsible producers, like Santee Cooper, are using the best environmental control technology available to minimize those emissions, assuring South Carolinians that they are safe, and they can continue to count on us to produce reliable, affordable power while still fulfilling our responsibility to protect our environment.”
Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s state-owned electric and water utility and the state’s largest power producer, supplying electricity to more than 162,000 retail customers in Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry counties, as well as to 29 large industrial facilities, the cities of Bamberg and Georgetown, and the Charleston Air Force Base. Santee Cooper also generates the power distributed by the state’s 20 electric cooperatives to more than 685,000 customers in all 46 counties.
Approximately 2 million South Caro
linians receive their power directly or indirectly from Santee Cooper. The utility also provides water to 137,000 consumers in Berkeley and Dorchester counties, and the town of Santee. For more information, visit www.SanteeCooper.com. For information on how Santee Cooper lives green and how you can go green, visit www.SanteeCooperGreen.com.