Southeast Regional Conference: Santee Cooper Project Field Trip

When: Thursday, December 2 • 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Registration Fee: $95 Transportation to and from as well as a box lunch is included with registration. All field trip participants must ride the transportation provided by ASDSO. 

Description: Officially known as the South Carolina Public Service Authority (SCPSA), Santee Cooper is South Carolina's state-owned electric and water utility. The Santee Cooper Project, FERC Project No. SC-199, is comprised of approximately 40 miles of earthen dams and dikes, creating two lakes, Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie, which are connected by the 7.5-mile-long Diversion Canal. The Project was the first diversion of one river (Santee River/Lake Marion) to another (Cooper River/Lake Moultrie) for power generation in America. The only means of flood control for both lakes is a 3400-ft. concrete spillway located between the North and South Dams on Lake Marion that discharges into the Santee River. Minimum flow into the Santee River is maintained at the spillway through a small hydroelectric unit on Lake Marion and there are two hydroelectric powerhouses located on Lake Moultrie: one near Moncks Corner (the original Jefferies Powerhouse) that discharges into the Cooper River, and one near St. Stephen (USACE Rediversion Project) that discharges back into the Santee River. The Jefferies Powerhouse and Lock are located on the Cooper River which in conjunction with the East Dam, East Dam Extension, West Dam and nearly 24 miles of dikes, impound Lake Moultrie.

The contract for engineering design was awarded to Harza Engineering in July 1938. Clearing for the dams and powerhouse began in April 1939 and only 2.5 years later, the impoundment of water began in November 1941. Less than 3 months later, the first delivery of Santee Cooper power to the Pittsburgh Metallurgical Company took place in February 1942 and all of the hydroelectric units were operational by June 1942. On December 2, 1942, the South Carolina state flag was raised over the Powerhouse and the Project was declared substantially complete.

Participants and guests will have the opportunity to view the Pinopolis System (the 5.8 mile long East Dam, East Dam Extension and the 1.2 mi. long West Dam) and tour the Jefferies Powerhouse and Lock before departing for a tour of the Santee System (the 4.5 mile long North Dam, the 3400 linear foot Spillway, and the 2.8 mile long South Dam).

Tentative Agenda: 

  • 8:00 am - Depart Convention Center
  • 8:45 am - Arrive at Santee Cooper's Main Office Complex in Moncks Corner.
    • Participants enter Auditorium informational presentation and videos:
      • Santee Cooper Project History
      • Overview of Dams and Dikes
      • Seismic Upgrades and other structural repairs
      • Tour Agenda review
  • 9:45 am - Depart Santee Cooper main office and travel to East Dam and West Dam sites
    • Enter and Depart West Dam along downstream road past Water Plant.
    • Travel along crest of East Dam Extension and East Dam beginning at Bonneau
    • End East Dam tour at Jefferies Powerhouse
  • 11:30 am - Lunch and Hydro/Lock Presentation and Tour
  • 1:00 pm - Depart for Santee System
  • 1:45 pm - Arrive at Spillway
    • Field Overview of the Santee System
    • Walking and driving tour of Santee Spillway
    • Driving tour of North Dam
  • 3:30 pm - Depart the Santee System
  • 4:30 pm - Arrive at the North Charleston Convention Center
Special thanks to our sustaining members