COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Governor Henry McMaster has called on the Office of Regulatory Staff to provide a comprehensive review of the state’s public and private power grid to evaluate its ability to withstand rare winter weather conditions.
It comes after several states experienced extensive power failures as extreme winter conditions gripped much of the country this week, leaving many to endure dangerous cold temperatures without electricity.
In a letter to the agency’s executive director, Nanette Edwards, Gov. McMaster said South Carolina is prepared and ready to respond to hurricanes and other forms of severe weather that impact the state, but said ice storms and severe winter weather can significantly impact areas that are not used to such conditions.
That is why he is calling on the Office of Regulatory Staff to undertake a comprehensive review of the state’s public and private power grid to evaluate its ability to withstand potential ice storms and other dangerous winter weather conditions.
He also asked the agency to prepare a summary of their findings and any recommendations.
Paul Fischer with Dominion Energy and Mollie Gore with Santee Cooper both said that their companies are ready and willing to participate in the review.
Fischer said that Dominion works year-round to ensure the grid is prepared for whatever mother nature brings.
Gore said a similar process takes place at Santee Cooper:
“We look back and if there were areas of weakness then we address those, we figure out how we can strengthen our own systems.”
Mike Couick, president of Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina Incorporated, said that it is important to learn from disasters like the one in Texas so that we can improve our infrastructure moving forward.