Santee Cooper announced it is investing $135 million in transmission projects throughout South Carolina to enhance reliability and add more capacity to accommodate its growing customer demand for electricity.
This investment is the result of several years of transmission planning. The company’s transmission planning objective is to provide reliable, economical, timely expansion of the transmission system in concert with the forecasted customer growth projections and expected expansion of the system.
"It is our responsibility and duty to maintain reliability, reduce costs and provide a stable and dependable flow of power to our growing customer base. This transmission investment demonstrates excellent planning and customer service," said Bill McCall, Santee Cooper executive vice president and chief operating officer. "We boast one of the best transmission reliability rates in the nation at 99.9988 percent. This is no accident. We plan to have the infrastructure years ahead of time, so it is in place, stable and ready when we need it."
The state has been growing on average 2.5 percent a year, and thus Santee Cooper has experienced similar growth in energy usage. Key hot spots such as Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Hilton Head and Aiken are experiencing growth of 4 to 6 percent a year. Santee Cooper serves these areas directly or indirectly via the state’s 20 electric cooperatives.
To further enhance reliability and continually meet customer expectations, Santee Cooper ties its transmission system into several other electric utilities, including Southern Company, Progress, Duke Power and SCE&G. This interconnection arrangement allows all companies to bolster their infrastructure systems, while offering support during power delivery emergencies.
The company has invested $740,759,667 into its 4,301 miles of transmission lines to date.
The $135 million is broken up into two major components: those necessary to connect the upcoming Cross Generating Station’s Units 3 and 4 to the load, and other transmission projects across the state. Those projects are either additional transmission lines or upgrades to existing lines.
Work has begun on several projects with the rest beginning over the course of the next year. The construction is expected to be fully complete within the next two to three years.
The three Cross Generating Station projects equal $50M:
- Cross #3
Cross Switchyard Additions
- Cross #4
Cross Switchyard Additions
Cross - Aiken 230kV Line
The transmission projects across the state equal $85M:
- Cross - Kingstree 230kV Line
- Dalzell - Camden 230kV Line
- Bluffton - Hilton Head GT 115kV #2 Line
- Hemingway - Red Bluff 230kV Line
- Arcadia - DeBordieu 115kV Line
- Kingstree - Lake City 230kV Line
- Lake City 230-69kV Substation
- Shamrock 230-115kV Substation
Santee Cooper is South Carolina's state-owned electric and water utility and serves 146,000 residential and commercial customers in Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry counties.