Berkeley Electric Cooperative and Santee Cooper Dedicate Green Power Solar School at Sangaree Middle School

LADSON, S.C.--- Berkeley Electric Cooperative and Santee Cooper dedicated a Green Power Solar School today at Sangaree Middle School.

Children and teachers were surrounded by colorful balloons and enjoyed cupcakes, as the tall black solar array shone in the sun, officially dedicating the site and marking the beginning of the Green Power Solar Schools program in Berkeley County. The Green Power Solar Schools initiative is designed to encourage interest in the environment and demonstrate the feasibility and limitations of renewable power generation. The school received a 2-kilowatt solar power system, which provides a teaching, research and hands-on demonstration opportunity for students. A focus of the project is the use of a new renewable energy curriculum designed especially for the middle school program. Each solar installation is supplemented by an Internet-based monitoring system that provides real-time access to information regarding the system’s performance from any Internet-enabled computer. The solar panel at Sangaree Middle School is equipped with a sun-tracking system which follows the sun’s path across the sky to maximize the renewable electric output.

“This is a special day for Berkeley Electric because we believe in giving back to our member-owners and the communities we serve. Encouraging students and teachers to discover ways to protect the environment and conserve energy is a part of our Electric Cooperative tradition,” said Eddie McKnight, vice president of public relations and marketing at Berkeley Electric Cooperative. Sangaree Middle School is the third Green Power Solar School in South Carolina. In total, 19 schools in the state will be Green Power Solar Schools. Santee Cooper also has solar panels installed at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC.

“This is truly a partnership in environmental stewardship. We appreciate the leadership both Berkeley Electric and the Berkeley County School District have shown,” said Lonnie Carter, president and chief executive officer of Santee Cooper.

“Advancing young minds and our educational community with the latest technologies is vital to a bright future for us all. We are proud to be a part of this exciting project and we look forward to many years of innovative and exciting learning,” said Chester Floyd, Superintendent of the Berkeley County School District.

Green Power Solar Schools continues efforts by The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina and Santee Cooper to promote renewable energy, and fulfills Santee Cooper’s commitment to reinvest Green Power funds back into renewable resources across South Carolina. To date, more than $1.8 million has been collected through the Green Power program. In October 2006, Coastal Carolina University became the location of the state’s first Green Power solar site.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Sangaree Middle, our students and teachers. This solar site will provide us with many years of engaged learning, challenging our young people to discover solutions to our energy challenges so that they will have a brighter future ahead,” said Jude Gehlmann, principal of Sangaree Middle School. The first school to receive a solar installation was Hilton Head Middle School, served by Palmetto Electric Cooperative. Other Green Power Solar Schools are New Ellenton Middle School, served by Aiken Electric Cooperative, Savannah Grove Middle School,
served by Pee Dee Electric Cooperative and Mauldin Middle School, served by Laurens Electric Cooperative.

In September 2001, Santee Cooper became the first electric utility in the state to generate and offer Green Power to its customers from methane gas collected at the Horry County Solid Waste Authority Landfill near Conway. Since then, two additional landfills in Lee and Richland counties have opened. Santee Cooper has just signed a contract for a Georgetown County landfill project, and of the 20 electric cooperatives in the state, 19 have elected to offer the Green Power program to their respective member-owners.

Berkeley Electric, a Touchstone Energy® Cooperative, is a member-owned, non-profit electric utility. As a state-of-the-art utility serving over 64,000 members in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties with over 4,000 miles of line, BEC is the largest electric cooperative in South Carolina, and one of the top 20 in the nation. For more information, visit

Santee Cooper is South Carolina's state-owned electric and water utility and serves more than 160,000 residential and commercial customers in Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry counties. The utility also generates the power distributed by the state's 20 electric cooperatives to more than 685,000 customers in all 46 counties. All total, more than 2 million South Carolinians receive their power directly or indirectly from Santee Cooper.

For more information, visit

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