Santee Cooper helps dedicate a solar-powered ‘green’ school


ROCK HILL, S.C. — The city of Rock Hill, Santee Cooper and Rock Hill School District 3 dedicated today a Green Power Solar School at Saluda Trail Middle School. The school has been equipped with a solar cell array that is already producing electricity from the sun’s rays, providing students with a firsthand look at the opportunities and challenges of solar power.

Students, educators and utility representatives gathered around the pole-mounted solar array to officially commemorate the first Piedmont Municipal Power Association (PMPA) and Santee Cooper Solar School partnership. The city of Rock Hill is a PMPA member.

“The city is proud to partner with Santee Cooper and the Piedmont Municipal Power Association to bring the Solar Schools program to Saluda Trail Middle School,” said Doug Echols, mayor of the city of Rock Hill. “We are excited to be a part of educating students on renewable energy and informing future generations on ways to maintain quality of life in our community.”

“Programs like Green Power Solar Schools challenge tomorrow’s leaders to think critically about renewable energy sources and how they might benefit future generations,” said Mike Brown, vice president of wholesale and industrial services for Santee Cooper. “The investment made in Saluda Trail Middle School by the city of Rock Hill and PMPA is an investment in both the future generation and future of energy for our state.”

The initiative is designed to encourage interest in the environment and demonstrate the feasibility and limitations of renewable power generation. Each Green Power Solar School receives a 2-kilowatt solar power system, which will provide a teaching and research opportunity for students. The project uses a new renewable energy curriculum designed especially for the program that meets state science standards. Each school program is supplemented by an Internet-based monitoring system that provides real-time access to information on the system’s performance as well as other solar schools in South Carolina.

“Our students will benefit greatly by having access to this engaging, curriculum-based program in which they will be able to learn firsthand the benefits of renewable energy sources,” said Kelly Pew, superintendent of Rock Hill Schools. “The solar cell further enhances the STEAM learning experience at Saluda Trail Middle School. Through this partnership with Santee Cooper and the city of Rock Hill, our students will begin to further understand the importance and value of alternative energy sources.”

Green Power Solar Schools represent one way that Santee Cooper and PMPA promote renewable energy. It helps fulfill Santee Cooper’s commitment to reinvest Green Power funds back into renewable resources across South Carolina. Santee Cooper began generating and distributing Green Power in 2001, and has steadily increased renewable generation in South Carolina since then, using South Carolina resources.

Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s largest power producer, the largest Green Power generator and the ultimate source of electricity for 2 million people across the state. Through its low-cost, reliable and environmentally responsible electricity and water services, and through innovative partnerships and initiatives that attract and retain industry and jobs, Santee Cooper powers South Carolina. To learn more, visit