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Lake Busbee — Conway, South Carolina

SC Picture Project  |  Horry County  |  Lake Busbee

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Lake Busbee

Lake Busbee in Conway is a man-made lake built as a cooling pond for the Grainger Steam-Electric Generating Plant, which produced coal power from its opening in 1966 until it closed in 2012. Santee-Cooper, South Carolina’s state power and water utility, owns the plant and determined that upgrading its emission controls to the current Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxins Standards would be too costly. It shut down Grainger in October of 2012.

Lake Busbee

Gregg Turbeville of Myrtle Beach, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Residents of Conway enjoy the 2.3-mile bike and walking trail along the 325-acre lake. With the closing of Grainger, plans for the lake are in discussion by city council. Some locals hope that it will become a recreational lake, but its future likely depends on the future of the plant and whether or not the city decides to maintain the lake. Santee-Cooper is currently pumping water into it until a permanent resolution is adopted. The lake also would have to conform to South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control standards to become a recreational body.

Grainger Plant Conway

Gregg Turbeville of Myrtle Beach, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

According to South Carolina Picture Project contributor and Myrtle Beach resident Gregg Turbeville, Dolphus M. Grainger, for whom the plant was named, was a native of Horry County and rural electric pioneer who once served as president of Central Electric Power Cooperative.

UPDATE: On the morning of February 7, 2016, the smokestacks seen above were demolished.

Reflections on Lake Busbee

Photographer Gregg Turbeville, who supplied SCIWAY with the above photographs and much of the information, shares the following:

“The sun sets over Lake Busbee as lattice steel towers carry the transmission lines from the nearby Grainger Generating Station.”

Add your own reflections here.

Lake Busbee Info

Address: 1605 Marina Drive, Conway, SC 29526
GPS Coordinates: 33.826478,-79.055156

Lake Busbee Map

Please Share Your Thoughts!

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7 Comments about Lake Busbee

William C says:
May 8th, 2019 at 10:30 pm

I vote yes to Brad’s statement below. I would love to see this Lake as a water park, boating and fishing for the young and old. My wife and I just moved in area using location of lake as landmark. We are looking forward to this lake be restored. It would be a great lake for our new coming area. Thanks.

Will says:
November 24th, 2017 at 1:40 pm

There are a lot of ducks in the lake they should let us hunt it.

John Isenhower says:
September 1st, 2017 at 7:23 pm

Paddle boats rental, churning up the water, exercise, park.

Paige says:
September 9th, 2016 at 2:21 pm

The lake is only 3 feet deep. Don’t know if a boat ramp would work.

BradS says:
July 8th, 2016 at 4:36 pm

This beautiful lake located on the east coast of the Palmetto State……. It’s the largest of few lakes near its surrounding areas! How awesome would it be if they built a public boat ramp for fishing? How awesome would it be for Conway to know they made dreams come true for young girls and boys who enjoy the outdoors as well as older folks? By making this a public fishing lake, this could be possible! I vote YES!

SCIWAY says:
February 8th, 2016 at 9:13 am

Wow, thank you for the update!

Jeremy Dion says:
February 7th, 2016 at 9:22 am

The Grainger smokestacks were just razed by explosives at 8 am this Sunday February 7th 2016. The Carolina Panthers play the Denver Broncos at Super Bowl 50 today.

I didn’t know about the demolition of such an imposing landmark. I would like to have been there to see the smokestacks fall. I’ve known about Super Bowl 50 for a long time. But I have very little interest in the gridiron distraction. It’s very likely I’ll be persuaded to participate socially and watch football, meanwhile history is demolished around me.

I regret not witnessing the demolition of a historic landmark in a town which I’ve lived for fifteen years.


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