Santee Cooper, Georgetown Co. dedicate green power station

Moncks Corner, SC - MONCKS CORNER, SC (WMBF) - Santee Cooper and Georgetown County celebrated Earth Day Thursday as they dedicated the state's newest Green Power plant, the Georgetown County Landfill Generating Station, which generates electricity from naturally occurring landfill methane gas.

Santee Cooper began generating renewable energy in South Carolina in 2001 with a landfill generating station at the Horry County Landfill. Thursday's dedication brings the number of Santee Cooper renewable Green Power stations to five, collectively generating 22 megawatts of electricity.

The project generates electricity through a 1-MW GE Jenbacher V-20 engine fed by a system of pipes and wells that collects methane gas created as debris in the landfill decays. The site will accommodate expansion as the landfill grows. The power generated at the station is distributed through Santee Electric Cooperative's system.

"This is a great Earth-friendly story, for three reasons," said Lonnie Carter, Santee Cooper president and CEO. "One, landfill gas is a cost-effective source of renewable energy. Two, this generating station solves an environmental problem by removing methane gas from the environment. Three, by converting the methane gas into electricity, we are making sure that a reliable source of energy doesn't go to waste."

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, every 1 megawatt of power produced through a facility such as the Georgetown County Landfill Generating Station is equal to removing almost 8,000 cars from area roads or planting over 10,000 acres of trees.

Copyright 2010 WMBF News. All rights reserved.