IRP Comments to My Local Electricity Provider as a Stakeholder

Santee-Cooper Integrated Resource Plan Letter


I live in Hilton Head, SC and our local electricity provider is Palmetto Electric Cooperative. Palmetto Electric obtains most, if not all of their Bulk Power from the SC Public Service Authority, known as Santee-Cooper. Santee-Cooper has a long history of providing reliable, reasonable cost power to the low country of SC. However, due to political pressure, they like most other utilities are working toward Net Zero Carbon by 2050. I disagree with this path and have written a couple letters to share my opinion and experiences. Here below is my latest letter concerning the creation of the next Integrated Resource Plan. The figure below shows Santee-Cooper load growth projections and the loss of the coal capacity from the Winyah Generating Station in 2028. It is this loss of Dispatchable capacity in 2028 that prompted my letter:

Dear Friends at Santee-Cooper,

Thank you for the opportunity to follow your development of the IRP. I would like to submit my additional comments below:

Santee-Cooper has a long history of providing reliable power to your service territory. During most of the preceding 89 years, the affordability, Dispatchability and reliability of coal fuel has been largely responsible for the reasonable cost rates and the attraction of industry. Especially energy intensive industries such as Nucor Steel and Century Aluminum. The 322 MW of nuclear power provided by Santee-Cooper’s ownership portion of the Summer #1 nuclear plant has also helped maintain favorable rates and reliability.  

I have many years of experience in power generation using most common fuels. Most as a senior engineer. Based on my experience and including travels world-wide, I strongly favor a Balanced Generation Portfolio of coal, nuclear, gas, hydro and up to about 15% renewables.

Santee-Cooper once had a good plan, about 15 years ago when you purchased the components for the 600 MW Pee Dee Clean Coal plant and the 45% ownership portion of units 2 & 3 Summer nuclear plant. The Summer nuclear plant units 2 & 3 seem to be history now. Pee Dee as I understand it is also history. However, the major equipment for the 600 MW Pee Dee coal plant, as I understand it, are still owned by Santee-Cooper.

I strongly believe that the 600MW Pee Dee Coal plant should be built along with plans for additional units. 

America is headed for an Energy Crisis and we already have had Blackouts in TN, CA, TX and NC during  severe weather during peak Demand periods. As recently in NC and TN as Christmas week, 2022. 

With the shutdown of the Winyah coal plant, continued electricity Demand increases and emphasis on intermittent renewable power to replace the coal generating capacity, South Carolina is at risk of Blackouts in our future at worse and escalating electricity generation costs at best if we do not keep and maintain the coal generation capacity. 

I understand that the goal of Net Zero Carbon is the goal, due to pressure from the S.C. Legislature. In my strong opinion, Net Zero Carbon is wrong and in fact, it will be impossible to achieve by 2040 or even 2050 by depending on wind and solar. I have written to Senator Tom Davis to ask that he initiate legislative action to keep fossil fuels viable beyond 2050. At least until electricity storage technologies catch up.

It is my hope that the Santee-Cooper staff will evaluate all options and including in the evaluation, consider the experiences of Hawaii, California, Texas, the UK, Germany and the entire European Union. I cite the example of Hawaii. Hawaii of course, is a true “Energy Island” and has no Grid connection as SC does. Hawaii has implemented Net Zero Carbon policies and included the premature shut down of the Barber’s Point coal plant, 180 MW unit. As a result of the renewable policies Hawaii now has the highest cost electricity ($0.45/kWh) of any U.S. state. Why? Because the intermittent wind and solar needs to be backed up with conventional fuels. With no coal or gas option, that leaves Diesel fuel as the Dispatchable alternate fuel. The highest cost primary energy available.

Three more examples are the UK.( $0.48/kWh), Denmark ($0.54/kWh) And Germany ($0.53/kWh) . Here are links to the electricity costs in Germany, Denmark and the UK.  A print out of the Global Electricity prices is attached at the end of this letter.

The more renewables that are installed, the higher the cost of electricity. The low cost that is often quoted is for installation cost by “Nameplate” rating. $/kWh capacity. However, when the backup power fuel is considered, as has been experienced in Hawaii, the cost to the consumer is much higher. 

I have written on my Blog many reasons why a Balanced Generation Portfolio is needed. My Blog is here: 

USCB-OLLI Course, “Understanding Net Zero”, March 20, 2023:


Dick Storm Link: What Would it Take to Reach Net Zero Carbon by 2050:

Thank you for this opportunity to comment on the IRP.

Yours very truly,

Richard F. (Dick) Storm, PE 

Registered PE in the state of NC

For Reference: Santee-Cooper IRP Comments:

Global electricity prices are attached below as an appendix: 

Note the highest Global cost electricity cost (please see last page) is in the UK, Germany and Denmark. All of which have made huge commitments to Renewable wind and solar power to replace coal and nuclear. So far, SC is lower than the average cost of the 50 U.S. states. Let’s keep the costs affordable and service reliable. Thank you.

Public Misinformation Example

The bill insert below suggests that Hilton Head Island electricity is provided by “Green Power” when in fact most of the power supply results from coal, gas and nuclear generation. In fact, the great state of SC has over 55% of our electricity provided by nuclear power but it is rarely discussed by the MSM or even the electricity providers.

Here are some additional References and Reading materials for Backup to the reasoning behind my letter above:

  1. Obama’s Carbon Mandate, and Revolving Door of Bureaucrats, Report by 114th Congress, Scientific Integrity Institute, 2015:  
  2. Daily Caller. Biden’s EPA Rule to Kill Off Coal Plants, March 8, 2023:
  3. World Nuclear News, France to Build more Nuclear Plants:
  4. Capital Research Center on Al Gore’s 30 years of wrong predictions:
  5. James Brooks, RBAC on bringing improved living conditions to Billions:
  6. Cyrus Brooks Video on Renewables, Outstanding communication in 2 minutes: 
  7. The Real Price of Wind and Solar:
  8. Cowboy State Daily, March 2023:
  9. Hawaii Energy by NPR:
  10. Hawaii News paper, “Civil Beat” article on skyrocketing electric bills:
  11. Donn Dears website, “The Politics of Energy” part 2:
  12. Donn dears new book, “Clean Energy Crisis”:
  13. Hillsdale College, article on the “Great Reset”, Dec. 2021 by Michael Rectenwald:
  14. UN Sustainable Development 2030 Agenda Document:
  15. WSJ Dec 31, 2022 Europe on Blackout Watch:
  16. Vaughn Cordle Web pages on government & Finance:
  17. Biden Admits it Erred in Cancelling the Keystone Pipeline, PA Pundits, Jan. 23, 2023:
  18. WUWT Cognitive Dissonance of Climate Change, Discussion:
  19. Finland Geological Survey Reports:
  20. NOAA Sea Level Rise Viewer:
  21. Maurice Strong Story:
  22. China, Sinopec CCS Plant, Feb. 2023:
  23. Self Sabotage the Electric Grid: WSJ January 2023:
  24. The Christmas Grid Emergency:
  25. Capital Research Testimony by Scott Walter May 2022:
  26. Capital Research Center, Green watch:
  27. NRDC Activist Facts, Influence Watch:
  28. Donn Dears website, Politics of Energy Policy part 2 and links to purchase his books:
  29. Ron Clutz “Science Matters”, website and his take on green Energy:
  30. Dr. Roy Spencer Website on Atmospheric Science
  31. Slavery and Child Labor at the Core of Elites’ Green Energy Obsession, by H. Sterling Burnett,
  32. American Suppression of Fossil Fuels Courts a National Security Disaster, By Ronald Stein P.E.
  33. LNG Potential, By Donn Dears,
  34. WSJ The Real Price of Wind and Solar, Renewables Cost More:
  35. World’s Climate Scientists Told to Cover Up the Fact the world has not warmed in 15 years, Daily Mail, UK:  
  36. TED Talk Nuclear Power Is Our Best Hope to Ditch Fossil Fuels | Isabelle Boemeke on the need for more nuclear power:
  37. WUWT March 20th, 2023, UN- IPCC Climate Warming Report:
  38. David Blackman Energy Absurdity , EU Renewables, March 25, 2023:
  39. Pee Dee Coal Plant Cancellation, Post & Courier 2009:
  40. 2012 SC Business News Article on SC Coal Plant Closures:
  42. Sierra Club Beyond Coal Website. This organization has created a lot of harm to the U.S.A.and they are funded with Billions$$$:
  43. Another strong influencer of U.S. Energy policy, also extremely well funded, :
  44. Post & Courier Newspaper article on Pee Dee Coal Plant opposition, 2008:
  45. New York Times article 2017 on Cancelled Summer Units 2&3:
  46. Capital Research Center, Nov. Dec. 2021 Issue:
  47. WUWT Blog on Global Fuels Use, July 11, 2021:
  48. Gina McCarthy, Climate Czar, IRS 990 form when she worked at NRDC between Obama and Biden Administrations: Click to access nrdc-actionfund-990-2020.pdf
  49. Business Insider, Links of Russian Funds to NRDC Funding to fight Fracking:
  50. Big Green Radicals, 2014  :
  52. EIA Total Energy Sources, 2021 including Pie Chart & Fuels 1950-2021:
  53. St. Louis Fed (FRED) Energy & Economy:
  54. Paul Driessen list of Billionaire Climate Activists:
  55. Capital Research Center December 2021, “War on Consumers” article with Dick Storm contribution on why we cannot electrify everything:

Wind and Inadequate Batteries for Backup:

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