Santee Cooper to retire coal, oil-fired power plants

The Santee Cooper Board of Directors on Oct. 19 voted to retire six electric generating units, two oil-fired units and four coal-fired units, at its two oldest stations. The vote comes after the Board considered Santee Cooper’s generation resource needs and the cost of complying with new environmental regulations.

“As we evaluated the anticipated costs of complying with new regulations and the generation resources we anticipate needing, it became clear that the best action for our customers and the state is to authorize the retirement of these units at Jefferies and Grainger,” said Board Chairman O.L. Thompson.

Jefferies Generating Station has four units slated to be retired, two coal-fired and two that use oil. The oldest two units date to 1954, units 3 and 4 came online in 1970, and the four have a combined capacity of 398 MW.

Grainger Generating Station came online in 1966 and has a capacity of 170 MW. The station has been idle since earlier this year as Santee Cooper continued evaluating potential impacts of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS) for air emissions.

The vote marks Santee Cooper’s first unit retirements since the state-owned utility first generated power 70 years ago. Santee Cooper said it will continue its evaluation of MATS requirements affecting its other, newer fossil fueled generating units.

Santee Cooper also said there is no timetable yet for the unit retirements.

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