Santee Cooper announces plans to recycle ash

  • Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Santee Cooper announced last week plans to use all of the ash in ponds at its Jefferies, Winyah and Grainger generating stations for beneficial purposes. Beneficial use provides economic, environmental and customer benefits.

Santee Cooper has recycled fly ash, bottom ash and gypsum since the 1970s. Prior to the recent recession, Santee Cooper was using about 90 percent of those materials for beneficial purposes. Its gypsum recycling program actually brought American Gypsum and about 100 new jobs to Georgetown County in 2008, where that company makes wallboard. The utility’s ash is used by the cement and concrete block industries and has helped build projects including Charleston’s Ravenel Bridge.

Santee Cooper has worked to recycle as much of its ash as possible through the decades. EPA regulations spurring the closure of coal-fired generating stations around the country have resulted in greater demand for ash and the development of new technology that increases the viability of pond ash.

“As we continue working to close units at Jefferies and Grainger and consider long-term needs for Winyah, Santee Cooper is focused on solutions that are cost-effective and beneficial to the environment and the economy,’ said R.M. Singletary, executive vice president of corporate services. “This is a triple win. It is cost-effective, which means it is responsive to our customers’ best interests. It utilizes innovative technology to help an important South Carolina industry be sustainable. And it is an EPA-approved use of ash.”

“This plan also addresses comments by our neighbors, the City of Conway, and DHEC about long-term placement of the ash, and it does so in a manner that is responsible to customers,” Singletary added. “It’s a solution that really does have something favorable for all involved.”

The plans will empty the ash ponds at the three stations over the next 10 to 15 years. Santee Cooper will provide excavation, loading and transportation of the ash to the plants where it will be used.

To learn more, visit www.santeecooper.com.

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