We in the Myrtle Beach area know a thing or two about hot summers. We also have our fair share of wintry weather, like January’s ice storm that left over 4,000 Horry County residents without power. Thankfully we have reliable energy to get our rapidly-growing area through these temperature extremes. But have you ever wondered where this power comes from, or how it might change in the future? In this Q&A we’ll discuss South Carolina’s power grid and its future, as well as give you tips for dealing with power outages if they do occur.
Where Does Myrtle Beach’s Power Come from?
Santee Cooper provides electricity directly to its retail customers and indirectly to customers of Horry Electric Cooperative.
How Does It Get here?
Santee Cooper owns and operates a transmission grid that takes power from generating stations to a distribution system shared with Horry Electric. From there, distribution lines take power directly to customers.
Could We See Outages Like Louisiana and Texas Saw Last Year?
Texas is a unique electric system since it isn’t connected to different states. On the other hand, South Carolina’s power grid is connected to various eastern United States. This lets us share power across that system and significantly reduces the risk of outages like those in Texas and Louisiana. In fact, the SC Office of Regulatory Staff just completed an assessment of South Carolina’s power grid’s resiliency and found that we are adequately prepared for outages. You can learn more about that review at the ORS website here and at WMBF News here.
Are Myrtle Beach Businesses Experiencing Low Voltage at Peak Times?
Santee Cooper uses AMI smart metering technology to track energy delivered to all retail customers. SC also follows the American National Standards Institute (ANSI C84.1-2020) recommendations for standard nominal system voltages and ranges. If a customer’s voltage fell below the minimum ANSI requirement, Santee Cooper would make specific repairs according to that customer’s needs to restore normal energy levels.
What are South Carolina’s Plans to Accommodate Our Area’s Rapid Growth?
In response to this growth, Santee Cooper plans to lower coal consumption and add renewables and natural gas. Developers are also working to install new solar power technology by the end of 2023, and other energy alternatives are currently being explored as well. Customers will learn more about these in March.
Will Santee Cooper Abandoning the New Nuclear Plant Affect Myrtle Beach?
Santee Cooper will continue delivering reliable, fairly-priced electricity to Myrtle Beach directly and through Horry Electric.
What Can We Expect Going Forward?
Santee Cooper holds itself to the core standard of providing reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible electricity. SC also values transparency and interaction with customers as this ensures that all plans match with customer needs.
Should We be Prepared for Increased Outages?
According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Santee Cooper’s distribution reliability ranks in the top 2% of the country. That reliability is made possible by crews working around the clock to restore any outages as quickly as possible. Santee Cooper’s commitment to reliability will continue when Mother Nature strikes, whether by rain, wind, ice, or hurricane.
Even though Myrtle Beach area residents enjoy some of the most reliable energy delivery in the nation, we are ultimately at the environment’s hands.
Don’t be caught off guard—call Cooper today for a standby home generator to be prepared for when Mother Nature strikes.