Natural gas unit offers flexibility, supports planned solar
Advancing its leaner, greener resource plan put forth in 2020, the Santee Cooper Board of Directors today discussed plans for a new natural gas unit to partially replace retiring coal units, help integrate more renewable power and meet expected customer load growth.
The proposed natural gas unit, combined with already contracted solar, new solar, battery storage and demand-side management proposed in Santee Cooper’s 2020 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and currently being analyzed as part of its 2023 IRP, offer critical reliability, affordability and resiliency for Santee Cooper customers. These new generating resources will also help South Carolina, as the State considers how to meet overall anticipated growth and other electric system needs.
Central Electric Power Cooperative purchases power from Santee Cooper on behalf of the State’s 20 electric cooperatives and is also planning resources to meet its share of
new demand beginning in 2029. Ultimately, resources proposed to serve our combined system will be analyzed as part of Santee Cooper’s 2023 Integrated Resource Plan to
be presented to the South Carolina Public Service Commission, next May. Specifically, Santee Cooper is proposing a 1×1 natural gas combined cycle unit with a summer capacity exceeding 338 megawatts (MW) and with the potential for conversion to emissions-free hydrogen fuel when hydrogen is more commercially available. The preferred site at this point is in Hampton County, which offers lower risk related to gas availability. Continued analysis and potential collaboration with other utilities will determine the specific size and location that will be presented to the Public Service Commission.
Santee Cooper’s IRP also includes 1,500 MWs of solar, utility-scale battery storage, new demand-side management programs and other new technologies to further reduce
emissions while maintaining reliability. Learn more about Santee Cooper’s IRP process and how you can get involved at www.santeecooper.com/IRP .