Bioenergy, Geothermal, Hydropower

South Carolina’s First Green Power is Landfill Methane

Methane gas from decaying landfill refuse is powering South Carolina’s first commercial green power generating station, a 2.2 MW facility for the state-owned electric and water utility, Santee Cooper.

CONWAY, South Carolina, US, 2001-10-29 [SolarAccess.com] The plant’s two Jenbacher V-20 engines use methane gas from the landfill’s decaying refuse as a renewable fuel. “Santee Cooper is proud to be the first electric utility in South Carolina to offer green power,” says Lonnie Carter. “We hope this plant is the first of many more to come.” Because it costs more to produce green power, customers who take part will pay a premium of 3 cents per kilowatt-hour. Residential customers may purchase green power in blocks of 100 kWh each, with commercial customers buying in blocks of 200 kWh. At full capacity, the plant will generate electricity for 9,300 homes and, at the same time, achieve an environmental impact equivalent to planting 15,000 acres of trees, enough to cover an area of 24 square miles. Methane is a greenhouse gas, with environmental damage. Santee Cooper provides power for 1.6 million customers in South Carolina. Based on kWh sales, is the fourth largest publicly owned electric utility in the U.S.