What is electricity and how is it generated in South Carolina?

Electricity is the flow of electrical power or charge. It is a secondary energy source. That means we get it by converting primary sources such as coal, natural gas, oil, nuclear power and other natural sources into it.

Primary sources can be renewable or non-renewable, but electricity itself is neither renewable nor non-renewable.

South Carolina has seven nuclear power plants. Three are at Seneca, two at Catawba, and one each at Hartsville and Jenkinsville. Together, they generate 52% of the electricity produced in South Carolina. Another 45% of the state’s electricity production comes from steam plants fueled primarily by coal. Hydroelectricity makes up the small remainder of electricity produced in the state.

What follows is a breakdown of the electricity produced and consumed in South Carolina by the method of how it’s generated:


Coal: 50.90%

Nuclear: 27.62%

Natural Gas/Oil: 19.51%

Hydro/Renewable: 1.97%

Diesel: 0.001%