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Growing Green With You
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Aiken, S.C. – Aiken Electric Cooperative, New Ellenton Middle School and Santee Cooper celebrated 10 years of Green Power in South Carolina today with a commemorative tree-planting to symbolize the sustainability and environmental benefits of renewable energy.

“To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Green Power, we’re planting a Live Oak tree at New Ellenton Middle School for present and future generations to enjoy. We’re also celebrating the 4th anniversary of New Ellenton Middle as a “Green Power Solar School,” said Bill Inman, Vice President, Strategic Services, Aiken Electric Cooperative.

The Green Power Solar School program is a partnership between the state’s electric cooperatives and Santee Cooper, designed to help teach middle school students about the opportunities and challenges associated with renewable energy.

In August 2007, New Ellenton Middle became just the second “Green Power Solar School” in South Carolina when Aiken Electric Co-op and Santee Cooper installed a 10’ x 12’ solar panel at New Ellenton Middle for hands-on learning. There are now 18 Green Power Solar Schools in South Carolina.

“Advancing knowledge surrounding renewable energy technology is critical to the quality of life for us today and for the future. We are proud to be a part of exposing our young people, teachers and the community to Green Power and its potential in our lives,” said Dr. Beth Everitt, Superintendent, Aiken County Public Schools.

South Carolinians began powering their homes and business with Santee Cooper Green Power 10 years ago this fall, when the state’s first Green Power Generating Station went online at the Horry County Landfill. Today, Santee Cooper generates 28 megawatts of Green Power from generating stations fueled by landfill gas, solar and wind energy. In partnership with the state’s 20 electric cooperatives, that Green Power is distributed to the state’s electrical grid and offered for sale to customers in all 46 counties of South Carolina.

The cooperatives work with Santee Cooper to sell that Green Power at a premium to interested customers. Santee Cooper then reinvests 100 percent of those Green Power revenues in new renewable energy projects that benefit the state.

“Santee Cooper is to be recognized for their leadership in establishing the Green Power program in South Carolina and for researching different Green Power alternatives available to us here in the state,” remarked Inman.

In the past decade, Santee Cooper has generated approximately 580,000 megawatt-hours of Green Power and sold 163,559 megawatt-hours of that to customers. Those Green Power sales are equivalent in today’s terms to the electricity needed to power nearly 15, 000 average American homes for one year or avoid the annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of more than 24,000 vehicles. (Source: EPA 2011: e-Grid Version 1.1 SEVC Subregion System Average). For more details, visit www.scgreenpower.com.

Aiken Electric Cooperative, Inc. is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative serving over 45,000 members in a nine-county service territory. As a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, Aiken Electric joins more than 600 electric co-ops nationwide to share the Touchstone Energy core values of integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community. For more information on the co-op, visit www.aikenco-op.org.

Santee Cooper is South Carolina's state-owned electric and water utility and the state's largest power producer. The source of power for more than 2 million South Carolinians, Santee Cooper provides direct service to more than 163,000 retail customers in Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry counties. Santee Cooper is the primary source of power distributed by the state's 20 electric cooperatives to more than 700,000 customers located in the state's 46 counties. For more information, visit www.santeecooper.com.