South Carolina is at a crucial turning point for energy generation. The Upstate is home to the three Oconee nuclear reactors that will need to retire in 2030. We are crisscrossed by two interstate liquid petroleum pipelines (Colonial Pipeline and Kinder Morgan’s Plantation Pipeline) and one natural gas pipeline (Williams Transcontinental). This leaves us vulnerable to spills and additional pipeline infrastructure connecting these three to the rest of the state. Duke Energy Carolinas has shuttered its last coal-fired plant in the Upstate, but we continue to deal with numerous coal ash issues.
Upstate Forever is working at the state and local level to fight unnecessary infrastructure while we lay the groundwork for a regulatory and policy environment that encourages clean renewable energy, energy storage, demand side management, and energy efficiency in the most flexible and cost-effective manner possible.
Duke Energy Carolinas proposed a massive transmission line project that would have destroyed sensitive lands and viewshed in northern Spartanburg County.
In December of 2014, a leak in Kinder Morgan’s Plantation Pipeline near Belton in Anderson County was discovered. Over 369,000 gallons of diesel and jet fuel had saturated the ground and made its way into a local waterway. Upstate Forever partnered with the Southern Environmental Law Center and Savannah Riverkeeper to file a Clean Water Act lawsuit to ensure a proper cleanup.
In March of 2016, Dominion Resources announced plans to build a 52 mile natural gas pipeline connecting the Williams Transcontinental Pipeline with a compressor station at Lake Greenwood. The pipeline will cross Spartanburg, Laurens, Newberry and Greenwood Counties.
Act 236, passed in 2014, threw open the doors in South Carolina for the development of residential, commercial and utility-scale solar generation. Upstate Forever joined forces with Solarize South Carolina to spread the word.
Upstate Forever and other stakeholders spent several years reviewing and revising Duke Energy’s management plan, which will guide how the reservoirs are operated for the next 50 years.