Santee Cooper it is not just about fixing what is in the present but looking towards the opportunities of the future. A South Carolina Electric Cooperative leader said that a few months ago in the SC General Assembly.

Nailed it! That viewpoint says volumes. It needs to be examined closely.

Santee Cooper muddles through debate about the past while other electric companies power-up the future. These investor-owned utilities deliver. Here are some examples of energy progress from around the country.

Duke Energy Carolina: With a 35-megawatt solar facility project and 20-year power purchase agreement, Duke Energy will secure zero carbon power to partially offset Charlotte’s energy demand. The effort combines the utility, city government, an NC solar company, and international solar company. Operational in 2022.

Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois has completed the Mark Twain Transmission Project, a 96-mile, 345,000-volt transmission line and substation in northeast Missouri. The project enables wind projects under development in Missouri that will provide lower cost energy to the grid.

NextEra: “America’s renewables behemoth,” is what GreenTech Media calls NextEra. Its nearly 4.4 gigawatts of solar capacity is the single largest solar fleet outside of China, and more than half of the company’s solar projects in 2019 were paired with energy storage to create what the company calls a “near-firm” generation resource.

Alliant Energy built a remote microgrid to power a Wisconsin state park instead of replacing an overhead power line. The $200,000 microgrid has a photovoltaic system, lithium ferro phosphate batteries, charge controller, inverter, and cellular communications. It would have cost $400,000 to replace the aging power line to the site.

Duke Energy Florida installed its one-millionth solar panel in the state. It is projecting to more than double its solar investments and plans to potentially install more than 1,500-megawatts of solar generation by 2028.

Dominion Energy is moving forward on offshore wind energy even during a pandemic. “The Coastal Virginia pilot will also get wheels spinning in the local supply chain … the utility believes Virginia could emerge as a major offshore wind manufacturing and logistics hub.”

Florida Power and Light: With Hurricane Dorian more than 160,000 customers were restored using advanced smart grid technology; average customer restored in just over an hour. Smart grid technology helped FPL avoid more than 37,000 outages.

Xcel Energy is a partner in CapX2020, a joint initiative of 11 transmission-owning utilities in Minnesota and surrounding states. It will expand the electric transmission grid to ensure customers continue to receive reliable, low-cost electricity. The lines represent one of the largest single transmission initiatives in the region in decades, spanning nearly 800 miles.

Dominion Energy Virginia will quadruple renewable energy and energy storage in its long-term Integrated Resource Plan. 24,000 new megawatts of renewable energy and storage capacity over the next 15 years.

These utility projects aim at the future, attract businesses and paychecks, and improve service. We need more of this in South Carolina through a sale of Santee Cooper if the state is to not only recover from the economic downturn caused by Coronavirus but to power a prosperous future.


Our feature image is from our blog about “The Trust Triangle.”