CAYCE, S.C. (June 4, 2013) – South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) today announced that it will accelerate its plans to retire two coal-fired electric generating units at its Canadys Station power plant near Walterboro, S.C.
In 2012, in response to the EPA published Mercury Air Toxic Standards, SCE&G identified six coal-fired units, including the three at Canadys Station, that would be taken offline or switched from coal to using natural gas as a part of the integrated resource plan filed with the South Carolina Public Service Commission. The six units comprise 730 megawatts of generating capacity. Ranging in age from 45 to 57 years, they are SCE&G’s oldest and smallest coal-fired units. The planned retirements are part of SCE&G’s ongoing efforts to reduce emissions from its power plants and achieve a more balanced electric generation portfolio.
One of three coal-fired units at the Canadys plant was retired in late 2012. SCE&G had 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 retiring the plant by the end of this year.
SCE&G President of Generation and Transmission and Chief Operating Officer Steve Byrne said retiring its older coal units will help the company meet increasingly stringent environmental regulations and achieve a more balanced generation portfolio. “By the end of 2018, we anticipate that roughly one-third of our electric generation will be fueled by nuclear power, one-third by natural gas, and one-third by scrubbed coal-fired plants,” he said.
Canadys Station currently employs 69 workers. Byrne said the company will assist affected employees in looking for other positions within the company. “These employees have served our company and our customers well, and we are grateful for their service,” he said.
SCE&G is a regulated utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 673,000 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.