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Wofford, Santee Cooper collaborate on energy-related lecture series

Teaching at Glendale 3
2008-08-25

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SPARTANBURG, S.C.
- Wofford College and Santee Cooper, South Carolina’s state-owned utility, are collaborating to create a lecture series on sustainability and energy issues for the college's Glendale Shoals Environmental Studies Center on the Lawson's Fork Creek in Glendale, S.C.

The "Santee Cooper Lecture Series on Sustainability and Energy Issues" will bring speakers from around the world, giving them a platform to discuss timely and pressing environmental issues with Wofford faculty and students, as well as students from the Spartanburg County public school systems and interested citizens. Santee Cooper has committed $25,000 annually for the series, beginning in 2009.

"This is an exciting time to address problems, issues, and values associated with energy and sustainability," says John Lane, director of Wofford's environmental studies program and the Glendale Shoals Center as well as an associate professor of English. "Through this lecture series Santee Cooper provides the Wofford community and the Spartanburg community with a powerful forum for meetings and discussions with some of the leading thinkers in the world on these issues."

“Energy policy opportunities and challenges are at the forefront of South Carolinians’ minds. This robust collaboration between academia and public power will foster critical thinking, innovative dialogue and enhanced value to the state,” says Lonnie Carter, president and CEO of Santee Cooper. “For Santee Cooper, protection and improvement of our environment are equal in importance to providing affordable energy.”

As the state’s largest producer of electricity, Santee Cooper provides low cost, reliable power in an environmentally responsible manner to more than 2 million customers in all 46 counties of the state.

Santee Cooper 2Santee Cooper has been involved in energy efficiency and conservation efforts for more than 40 years, and in 2001, became South Carolina’s first electric utility to generate and offer Green Power to its customers. Since then, Santee Cooper has launched Green Power Solar Schools, begun four wind demonstration projects, distributed more than 750,000 compact light bulbs, added solar power to the grid and added dozens of other programs and initiatives to help conserve energy, help the environment and help customers save money.

Recently, Santee Cooper unveiled Santee Cooper Green, a program bringing together all the eco-friendly, conservation-minded approaches that Santee Cooper practices and ways customers can “go green.” The state wide utility also recently announced a bold new plan to generate 40 percent of its energy ─ four times current levels ─ from non-greenhouse-gas emitting resources, biomass fuels, energy efficiency and conservation by 2020.

At a minimum, one lecture will be planned for the spring and the fall semesters, beginning with the spring of 2009, when the Glendale Shoals Center will be christened. Guest lecturers will be on the campus of Wofford and the Glendale Shoals Center for two to four days.

Wofford's new environmental studies program and major begin this fall, and work to renovate and restore the Glendale Shoals Center will begin in October. The program takes an interdisciplinary approach that recognizes that the sciences, social sciences and humanities should come together for collaborative research and intentional dialogue.

The goal of the environmental studies program is to build a diverse community of participant-scholars who appreciate the human and natural dimensions of landscape, who are familiar with the ways in which scientists, politicians, artists, business leaders, social scientists, scholars, poets and writers approach the environment, and who seek to become informed, lifelong stewards of the natural world.

Offering both a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science track, the ES Program has four major objectives, says Lane. "Those objectives are breadth; depth; communication, collaboration and conduct; and a learning environment," he says.

Wofford College, established in 1854, is an independent liberal arts college of 1,350 students in Spartanburg, S.C. Wofford ranks in the top 15 nationally in the percentage of undergraduates receiving credit for study abroad. Home to one of the nation's 276 Phi Beta Kappa chapters, Wofford's historic 170-acre campus is recognized as a national arboretum. Affiliated with the United Methodist Church, the college is committed to quintessential undergraduate education within the context of values-based inquiry.

Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s state-owned electric and water utility and provides power to more than 163,000 customers in Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry counties and water to 136,000 consumers in Berkeley and Dorchester counties. The utility also generates the power distributed by the state’s 20 electric cooperatives to more than 685,000 customers in all 46 counties. Santee Cooper is the largest provider of electricity in South Carolina. More than 2 million South Carolinians receive their power directly or indirectly from Santee Cooper. For more information, visit www.SanteeCooper.com. For information on how Santee Cooper lives green and how you can go green with Santee Cooper, visit www.SanteeCooperGreen.com.