Cayce, S.C. (Nov. 13, 2013) – South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) today announced that its Canadys Station power plant near Walterboro, S.C. stopped generating electricity, Nov. 6, after more than a half century of supporting South Carolina’s electricity needs. The plant closing is part of SCE&G’s efforts to reduce emissions, achieve a more balanced generation portfolio and comply with new environmental regulations that will take effect after 2015.
In response to the EPA-published Mercury and Air Toxic Standards, SCE&G announced in 2012 that six of its oldest and smallest coal-fired units, including the three at Canadys Station, would be taken offline or switched from coal to natural gas. One of Canadys’ units was retired in late 2012. SCE&G originally planned to convert the remaining two to natural gas-fired units as an interim measure before retiring them completely in 2017. However, after reevaluating system needs and analyzing the economics of the situation, the company decided to proceed with completely closing down the plant by the end of 2013.
SCE&G President of Generation and Transmission and Chief Operating Officer Steve Byrne said retiring SCE&G’s older coal generation, along with adding new nuclear generation to its system, will help the company meet increasingly stringent environmental regulations and achieve a more balanced generation portfolio. “Once our new nuclear units are complete, we anticipate our generation capacity will be about 30 percent nuclear, 30 percent natural gas and 30 percent scrubbed coal, with the balance in hydro and some renewable resources,” said Byrne. “With this portfolio, about 60 percent of our annual generation will be non-carbon-emitting. Additionally, we’ll have the flexibility to take advantage of whatever generation option makes economic and environmental sense for our customers at any given point in time.”
Decommissioning of Canadys Station is expected to take a number of years and will involve demolishing the plant, closing all ash and wastewater treatment ponds, and constructing a permitted dry ash storage facility onsite to store material which exceeds recycling demands. SCE&G will continue to own the site, and during the decommissioning process will maintain an around-the-clock workforce, along with 24-hour security. SCE&G has no immediate plans to sell the property.
“Since 1962, our team at Canadys Station has generated electricity for our customers and contributed to the greater community,” said Kevin Wicker, Canadys Station plant manager. “On behalf of the entire plant team, I want to express gratitude to our customers and the local community for allowing us to serve them.”SCE&G is a regulated utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 675,000 customers in South Carolina. The company also provides natural gas service to approximately 325,000 customers throughout the state. More information about SCE&G is available at www.sceg.com.