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Growing green

Posted: October 27, 2011 2:34 p.m.
Updated: October 28, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Leslie M. Stover Middle School and Fairfield Electric Cooperative celebrated 10 years of “green power” in South Carolina recently with a commemorative tree-planting to symbolize the sustainability and environmental benefits of renewable energy.

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, according to Fairfield co-op officials. 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.

“The key to the Green Power programs success has been the participation of South Carolinians across our state. I want to thank our cooperative’s members who have made the decision to purchase Green Power and support the expansion of renewable energy in South Carolina,” said Payne.

Fairfield Electric Cooperative and Stover Middle School have their own joint history generating green power, as partners in the Green Power Solar School, which was dedicated at the school’s campus in October 2008. The Green Power Solar School program is designed to help teach middle school students about the opportunities and challenges associated with renewable energy.

Stover sixth-graders use kits and energy notebooks donated by Fairfield Electric in their daily learning.  In addition, they use solar power cars for demonstrations in class and the K-nex to make pulleys and simple machines. The students also track the solar power being generated by the solar panel in front of their school.

“Finding alternate sources of energy is becoming more important than ever. Green power programs are taking the lead into finding and implementing those sources. It is our responsibility to educate our young people concerning the benefits and opportunities associated with green power,” said Garity.

Fairfield Electric Cooperative is a member-owned, nonprofit electric cooperative that serves more than 25,000 accounts in Kershaw, Fairfield, Chester, Richland, and York counties.

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