Officials explain why rolling blackouts were necessary - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Officials explain why rolling blackouts were necessary

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In a press conference this morning South Carolina Electric and Gas discussed the controlled rolling blackouts they implemented as a result of increased demand on its electric system.

Keller Kissam, President of SCE&G Retail Operations, said at the height, there were 50,000+ residents without power and as of 11:30 a.m. that number was below 5,000. He added this was a historic demand and peak on the company's power.

"In order to protect the stability of the electric system and to continue to meet customers’ needs, SCE&G has implemented rolling blackouts throughout its service territory," SCE&G said early Tuesday morning.

 SCE&G completed blackouts at 10:45 a.m.

Kissam apologized to customers, especially to parents, "You send your kids to school and expect them to be warm and we let you down today."

SCE&G is not anticipating more rolling blackouts.

Meanwhile, representative Duke Scott who serves as the public's liaison for electricity said they will investigate the cause but agrees with SCE&G that the infrastructure was capable of handling the demand. He said mechanical issues, along with the unprecedented demand, made it impossible to keep power running.

Scott gave further insight into some of the mechanical issues, he told News 2 that instruments at the Williams station in Goose Creek froze this morning and caused a ripple effect across the state. It's possible this happened at other sub stations across the state. The company usually has the ability to buy power from other companies to keep things running smoothly, but that was not available today.

Scott said the issue should be fixed in time for another freeze tonight.

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