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2006 Newsroom
2005 Newsroom
2004 Newsroom

April 21, 2006
Santee Cooper board approves new generating station in Florence County to meet state’s growing energy needs

MONCKS CORNER, S.C.—The Santee Cooper board of directors today approved the construction of a new $984 million coal-fired generation facility along the Great Pee Dee River in Florence County.

This action represents the first major implementation of the company’s new generation plan, which the board approved last month to meet the state’s growing energy needs.

Plans call for the 600-megawatt (MW) pulverized coal facility near Kingsburg, SC to begin commercial operation in January 2014. It will be located on 2,700 acres the company has owned since the early 1980s.

"We have been leading up to this announcement for literally two decades. From an economic development perspective, we are happy to bring well paying jobs and opportunity into Florence County. More than that, however, we are looking forward to being a good corporate citizen. Our company’s culture and reputation is one of community involvement and support," said Santee Cooper President and Chief Executive Officer Lonnie Carter.

During construction, as many as 1,400 new jobs could be introduced. The facility will employ approximately 100 full time workers when it becomes commercially operational, with an average salary of $50,000. The construction and operation of the facility will bring with it millions of dollars in payroll, local purchases and contract services. The majority of both full time workers and contractors will come from the local area, thereby enhancing the economic development opportunities for Florence County and the state as a whole.

Santee Cooper plans to submit the permitting application next month for the facility. Pending a successful permitting process, construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2007.

The next generation plan, which allows the company to fulfill its obligation to continue to meet the power needs of South Carolina, was approved last month and included a 600 MW coal facility. At that time it was announced the budget, schedule, location and details of the coal facility would be forthcoming.

The generation plan serves as the company’s long-term road map for building essential base-load generation. Forecasting and data analysis show the company needing new base load generation within the next ten years to accommodate the state’s current and projected growth.

Location
Pee Dee site is considered the most ideal site for several reasons. First, it is closest to the load center. It is located close to many of the state’s rural electric cooperatives and only a short distance from the Grand Strand, both of which are experiencing tremendous population growth and where some of Santee Cooper’s growth in energy use is occurring.

The soil, with the right load-bearing characteristics, and a supply of freshwater for cooling purposes also make the Pee Dee location favorable.

The Pee Dee site also allows proximity for highway access and rail service for coal delivery. The availability of labor resources for the construction and operation of the new facility were also factors.

Economic Development
One of the greatest economic benefits which accompany new generating stations is the close availability of economic power, which provides a major resource for economic and industrial development. This equates to creating new jobs and improving the quality of life for everyone in the community.

Florence County government will receive approximately $240,000 a year in generation taxes.

Environmental Stewardship
This facility will utilize the most state-of-the-art environmental control technology, resulting in one of the cleanest power plants in the nation. Scrubbers to remove sulfur dioxide, selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to remove nitrogen oxide, precipitators to remove particulate matter and more will make this a cutting edge facility, environmentally.

This facility will be a supercritical, pulverized coal unit. A supercritical facility uses increased pressure and higher temperatures to create higher levels of efficiency.

This enhanced technology translates into lower air emissions when compared to similarly sized stations constructed in years past.

"Through the use of state-of-the-art environmental control technology, Santee Cooper demonstrates a commitment to balance environmental responsibility while providing reliable, low-cost power to the citizens of this state," said Carter.

The state is growing at a tremendous rate, which makes planning for future energy needs critical. South Carolina’s population is increasing about 3 to 4 percent annually, and the state is expected to have 5 million residents by 2025.

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of the ongoing construction of Cross Units 3 and 4, the largest capital expenditure in the company’s history. The units, a $1.4 billion investment, will come on line in January 2007 and January 2009. Cross 3 is 83 percent complete, while Cross 4 is 17 percent complete.

Santee Cooper is South Carolina's state-owned electric and water utility and serves more than 150,000 residential and commercial customers in Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry counties. The utility also generates the power distributed by the state's 20 electric cooperatives to more than 665,000 customers in all 46 counties. Santee Cooper is the largest provider of electricity to South Carolinians. All total, more than two million South Carolinians receive their power directly or indirectly from Santee Cooper. For more information, visit www.santeecooper.com

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