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The Heritage thinks green again in 2011
Published Wednesday, April 13, 2011 9:38 AM
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. - For the third year in a row, the Heritage Golf Tournament has committed to operate its PGA TOUR event with 100 percent Green Power, distributed by Palmetto Electric Cooperative and generated by state-owned utility Santee Cooper.

In 2009, the Heritage became the first major PGA TOUR event to commit to run on 100 percent renewable energy. Again this year, Heritage will purchase Green Power from Palmetto Electric Cooperative for the duration of the 2011 tournament, which plays out April 18-24 at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island.

Santee Cooper generates its Green Power from clean, renewable energy sources including landfill biogas, solar power, and wind power, all within South Carolina. In fact, Santee Cooper is the only utility generating Green Power in South Carolina, and Palmetto Electric was one of the first cooperatives in the state to offer Green Power to its customers, back in 2001.

“We are excited to be green again in 2011 with our Heritage tournament. As South Carolina’s most significant sporting event and one of the most prestigious golf tournaments in the country, we are committed to thinking green. Buying renewable energy lets us be a green leader both on and off the links,” said Steve Wilmot, tournament director for the Heritage.

“Our customers really appreciated that Heritage ran on Green Power last year, and it drove interest in the Santee Cooper Green Power we offer customers every day,” said Tom Upshaw, president and CEO of Palmetto Electric Cooperative. “We also signed up new customers to the Green Power program, and the additional money they are paying now each month directly supports development of new and expanded renewable energy in the state. Palmetto Electric is proud of our role growing Green Power in this state.”

“Promoting our Green Power through innovative partnerships such as this helps Santee Cooper meet our responsibility to generate electricity that is low cost, reliable and environmentally protective,” said Lonnie Carter, Santee Cooper president and CEO. “Since opening the state’s first Green Power generating station in 2001, we have steadily increased renewable energy generation in South Carolina, and that helps us all.”

Santee Cooper began generating renewable Green Power when it opened the Horry County Landfill Generating Station, which produces electricity from methane gas created by naturally decomposing garbage. Now producing more than 28 megawatts of Green Power, Santee Cooper has six landfill biogas stations in commercial operation. It also has two solar arrays generating power for the grid, and is dedicating the state’s largest solar installation April 18. There are 20 demonstration solar projects at middle schools around the state, and Santee Cooper’s Wind Education Program includes a 2.4 kW turbine in North Myrtle Beach.

Customers of Santee Cooper and the state’s electric cooperatives can purchase Green Power each month through their electric bills. For just two dimes a day, Green Power has the environmental impact of:

• Not driving a car for almost three months

• Planting over one-third acre of trees for a year

(Source: EPA: e-Grid SERC Subregion System Average.)

For more information on Green Power and to sign up for as little as $3 per month, visit www.scgreenpower.com.

Palmetto Electric Cooperative and the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives of South Carolina will bring the Touchstone Energy hot air balloon to the Heritage on Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23.  The balloon will launch at sunrise and sunset each day from an area in front of the Goodwill Store on Highway 278 in Bluffton.  Additionally, the balloon’s pilot, current world hot air balloon champion John Petrehn, will be appearing Friday and Saturday afternoon at the Touchstone Energy booth at the Expo Village.

The real winners of the Verizon Heritage are the thousands of people the tournament helps each year. The Heritage Classic Foundation, general tournament sponsor, distributes the proceeds of the annual PGA TOUR event to hundreds of non-profit organizations. Since its founding as a 501 (c) (3) in 1987, the Foundation has donated nearly $20 million to people in need.

Palmetto Electric Cooperative is a non-profit electrical distribution utility that is owned by the members it serves. The Cooperative serves over 66,000 consumers in southern Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties. Palmetto Electric’s mission is to provide diversified, innovative energy and related services to its customers consistent with sound business practices, while always acting in a community-building leadership role. For more information, visit www.palmetto.coop or call 843-208-5551.

Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s state-owned electric and water utility, and the state’s largest power producer. The ultimate source of electricity for 2 million South Carolinians, Santee Cooper is dedicated to being the state’s leading resource for improving the quality of life for the people of South Carolina. For more information, visit www.santeecooper.com.

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