College of Charleston biology majors Ben Sagara and Jordy James participated in Santee Cooper's environmental internship program this past summer. As environmental interns, they learned a lot about the power industry by touring coal, solar, hydroelectric, wind turbine power plants, and about how electricity is created, transmitted, transformed and distributed to the consumer. Santee Cooper is primarily a public utility company that provides power and water to over 2 million South Carolinians.
Both interns had the opportunity to do research projects on Santee Cooper's potential to integrate solar power into the grid affordably and reliably, and also the impact on South Carolina's fish populations near power plants. They presented their project findings to the CEO and other Santee Cooper executives at the end of the internship.
More about the program from Santee Cooper's web site:
The program is designed to give interns an in-depth understanding of the many traditional and renewable resources used to make electricity, the importance of balancing environmental issues with meeting electricity demands, and how that electricity is transmitted and ultimately distributed to homes and businesses.
They will also learn about Santee Cooper's key role in the environmental and economic wellbeing of South Carolina. The program concentrates on the challenges of keeping the lights on while protecting the state's environmental and economic prosperity.
Interns will spend the summer at work in key environmental departments for hands-on experience at one of the nation's largest, public-power utilities. In the field, interns will see what rural electrification has done for our state and what Santee Cooper continues to do to protect our natural resources. From the drafting table to the backwoods, they will see how the process of generating power while preserving the environment is a never-ending one of search and discovery.
The Environmental Intern Program includes housing, a food allowance, and hourly wages. Students learn the value of teamwork as they live and work together. The program is hosted at the corporate headquarters in Moncks Corner.