Santee Cooper has completed the purchase of Cherokee Cogeneration Partners LLC, a natural gas power plant in Cherokee County, S.C., Santee Cooper said on Nov. 1.
The plant will enhance grid reliability and add nearly 100 megawatts to Santee Cooper’s combined electric system, Santee Cooper said.
As Santee Cooper’s largest customer, Central Electric Power Cooperative supports the purchase, and the boards of Santee Cooper and Central each approved the purchase as a shared resource for the combined electric system. “That means the generation will benefit Santee Cooper’s retail and other wholesale customers, along with Central’s member cooperatives across South Carolina,” Santee Cooper, the state-owned public power utility in South Carolina, said.
“We’ve seen increased customer demand caused by new and expanded industries and a fast-growing residential and commercial base in areas served by Santee Cooper, our municipal wholesale customers, and the state’s electric cooperatives,” said Jimmy Staton, Santee Cooper President and CEO. “That’s a good problem to have, frankly. Adding the Cherokee plant to our portfolio will help Santee Cooper meet that demand in an affordable and reliable way and help us integrate additional renewable power as we bring it online over the next few years.”
The Cherokee facility has been operating since 1998 and is connected to the existing Transco natural gas pipeline, which runs through western South Carolina.
Santee Cooper has purchased power from the facility in the past and continued to do so through the acquisition.
In addition to supporting electric cooperatives and municipal customers Santee Cooper serves, the purchase is a cost-effective means for serving direct customers and provides less ratepayer risk while helping maintain safe and reliable electric service, it said.