HomeSouth CarolinaSantee Cooper unveils $10.8 million resilience grants to enhance South Carolina's power...

Santee Cooper unveils $10.8 million resilience grants to enhance South Carolina’s power grid

Columbia, South Carolina – Santee Cooper announced the first round of funding under its Grid Resilience Grant Program, a big step toward improving the resilience of South Carolina’s electricity grid. Eighteen initiatives designed to strengthen the grid against severe weather occurrences will get a total of $10.8 million in funding. Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), these initiatives will mostly help disadvantaged regions of the state.

As South Carolina’s largest power provider, Santee Cooper is leading these efforts as the state’s administrator for the funds allocated through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This initiative reflects the company’s commitment to enhancing infrastructure resilience and reducing the frequency and impact of power outages across the state.

The approved projects cover a wide variety of upgrades including the burial of overhead power lines, installation of advanced self-healing equipment that can expedite power restoration after disruptions and much more.

“The projects that were submitted range from burying overhead power lines to adding self-healing equipment that improves restoration ability,” said Jimmy Staton, Santee Cooper president and CEO. “Collectively they will make South Carolina’s electric grid stronger in the face of hurricanes and other extreme weather. It has been our privilege to work with the DOE and so many utilities across the state who are driven to provide the best service possible to their members and customers.”

Read also: Federal USDA funding to support three major projects in South Carolina

For South Carolina, this investment represents a significant turning point in its continuous attempts to update its electrical system in reaction to the growing intensity of weather events. By these improvements, Santee Cooper and its partners want to lessen the impact of natural disasters on the state’s power infrastructure and provide their clients with a more dependable power supply.

All projects were made to follow both state and federal regulations thanks to the cooperative review process that included Santee Cooper and the consulting firm Guidehouse. With DOE’s clearance, project execution is about to get underway, representing South Carolina’s proactive commitment to disaster preparedness and grid upgrading.

Santee Cooper announced the first round of funding under its Grid Resilience Grant Program, a big step toward improving state's power grid

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The full list of projects:

  • Berkeley Electric Cooperative (BEC): $982,228

Implement an automated fault location, isolation, and service restoration system (FLISR) in a remote and difficult-to-access area to decrease outage restoration times.

  • Broad River Electric Cooperative: $183,964

Install additional remotely controlled devices and new controls to improve monitoring and control capabilities and increase reliability for two circuits that have experienced outages.

  • City of Rock Hill: $71,470

Add two automated overhead switches and a self-healing device to address circuit-level outages.

  • Coastal Electric Cooperative, Inc. Project 1: $400,000

Improve monitoring and control capabilities to increase sectionalizing, reduce outages and expand FLISR abilities.

  • Coastal Electric Cooperative, Inc. Project 2: $796,000

Replace aging overhead distribution lines on the back of lots with underground lines on the front of lots to improve reliability by and increase access to the lines.

  • Fairfield Electric Cooperative, Inc. Project 1: $225,000

Update equipment and improve system monitoring and control, allowing for remote power restoration.

  • Fairfield Electric Cooperative, Inc. Project 2: $900,000

Rebuild four miles of overhead distribution line serving a wastewater treatment plant in a remote area that has experienced extended outages.

  • Gaffney Board of Public Works (GBPW): $417,605

Deploy technology to locate, predict, and prevent issues on the electrical grid.

  • Horry Electric Cooperative, Inc.: $779,823

Install self-healing devices on existing poles along major transportation corridors, allowing automated restoration within seconds for outages between these devices.

  • Laurens Commission of Public Works: $777,917

Replace cutout switches, inspect all poles on the system, and accelerate vegetation management.

  • Lockhart Power Company (LPC): $833,333

Install enhanced resiliency insulators and storm-hardened metal poles on Jonesville 34kV line, part of a larger project to replace an aged 18-mile segment of line between two substations.

  • MPD Electric Cooperative: $1,191,604

Install distribution management and automation systems to automatically clear instantaneous and short-duration faults.

  • Palmetto Electric Cooperative, Inc.: $1,946,000

Replace 44 old hydraulic reclosers with new electronically controlled reclosers with remote monitoring and operating capabilities in areas considered to be disadvantaged communities.

  • York Electric Cooperative, Inc. Project 1: $125,193

Build a 2.1-mile overhead line to provide an alternate feed to two long radial lines in hard-to-reach areas of Bonnor Horton Road and West McConnells Highway and improve reliability.

  • York Electric Cooperative, Inc. Project 2: $152,664

Install a distribution automation scheme across its service territory in the Catawba Indian Nation.

  • York Electric Cooperative, Inc. Project 3: $59,886

Install an underground tie line between Legion Road and Valley Haven Trail in Hickory Grove, creating a usable backfeed and reducing the number of radial line miles by 13.54 miles.

  • York Electric Cooperative, Inc. Project 4: $717,357

Bury approximately three miles of overhead line going into the Kings Mountain National Military Park and a single-phase line feeding Camp Cherokee, a local YMCA summer camp.

  • York Electric Cooperative, Inc. Project 5: $206,855

Bury approximately two miles line feeding the Kings Mountain State Park, almost entirely inside of the State Park.

Read also: Relief for South Carolina customers: Duke Energy Progress seeks rate decrease

Santee Cooper has filed for Fiscal Year 2024 available funding and will begin solicitation of proposals for the third-year funding after the DOE provides clearance to do begin.

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