Southeast Renewable Energy to build US$50M, 15-MW wood biomass-fueled power plant in Dorchester County, South Carolina, will use county's virgin wood residue, sell power to Santee Cooper when plant is complete in late 2012

COLUMBIA, South Carolina , May 5, 2011 (press release) – $50 million investment expected to create 20 new jobs

Gov. Nikki Haley, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and Dorchester County today announced that Southeast Renewable Energy will build its new renewable energy facility in Dorchester County. The $50 million investment is expected to generate 20 new jobs over the next five years. The company has also entered into an agreement with the county to utilize virgin wood residue, such as tree limbs and woody right-of-way clearings, for a portion of the plant’s biomass fuel source.

“We are excited about the partnership with the county in this win-win opportunity. Utilizing the county’s wood residue is not only sustainable but it will also save them money and create local jobs,” said Raine Cotton, president and CEO of Southeast Renewable Energy.

Southeast Renewable Energy will build a 15-megawatt biomass energy plant in Dorchester County that will be fueled using virgin wood residues. The company will sell the green power to Santee Cooper, and the plant is expected to be completed in late 2012. It is expected that the new plant will also create many indirect jobs in the logging, trucking and forest product industries.

“This administration is focused on attracting investment and bringing good jobs to every part of our state,” said Gov. Haley. “We couldn’t be happier that Southeast Renewable Energy has chosen to invest and create good jobs in Dorchester County.”

“This investment by Southeast Renewable Energy will further strengthen South Carolina’s growing reputation in the area of renewable energy. Our state’s business-friendly climate continues to attract investment that creates jobs for our state’s residents, and this announcement by Southeast Renewable Energy is the latest example,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce.

The company has previously announced plans for similar plants in Allendale and Kershaw counties. The company has an agreement to sell green power in all cases to Santee Cooper for 30 years. The agreement with the county to use its virgin wood residue for fuel is expected to save Dorchester County about $300,000 each year.

“It is a pleasure to welcome Southeast Renewable to Dorchester County, their investment is yet another in the Charleston region that is making the area a global leader in green energy,” Dorchester County Council Chairman Larry Hargett said. “Not only is SRE creating jobs and investing in Dorchester County, but our partnership will save the county money as well.”

The company will begin requesting applications for the positions in early 2012.

Southeast Renewable Energy was founded in 2000 and is a growing leader in the biomass energy market. The company’s focus is on developing biomass facilities with strategic partners and helping others navigate the development phase. For more information, please visit www.serenew.com.

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