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Arctic blast triggers peak electrical demand record


MONCKS CORNER, S.C. — Record-low temperatures in South Carolina the past two days have resulted in a new peak-demand record set this morning at Santee Cooper.

The new peak record of approximately 5,869 megawatts was recorded between 7-8 a.m., which surpassed the previous mark of 5,743 MW set in December 2010.

"This morning's temperatures were the coldest we've experienced in some time, which caused an increased demand for electricity. We were able to anticipate this demand and prepare to have our system running at full force," said Phil Pierce, Santee Cooper senior vice president of generation. "It was a real company-wide effort. We scheduled extra maintenance crews and shifts at generating stations. Our distribution, transmission and power supply groups were busy planning and preparing as well. When peak demand hit, all of our generation was operating. These extra efforts by our employees allowed our system to keep up with demand, and we appreciate their dedication."

Santee Cooper has been promoting winter conservation tips this week on its website and through social media, joining Gov. Nikki Haley and other South Carolina electric utilities in calling on customers to use energy wisely during this bitter cold snap.

"We also appreciate our customers' efforts to conserve electricity where they could, and their cooperation has undoubtedly helped," Pierce said.

Customers can save energy and money year round by utilizing the energy-saving tips at Customers also can get energy-saving tips and up-to-date information on Santee Cooper's Facebook and Twitter pages. Customers who experience power outages should report them online at or by calling 1-888-769-7688.

Santee Cooper is South Carolina's largest power provider, the largest Green Power generator and the ultimate source of electricity for 2 million people across the state. Through its low-cost, reliable and environmentally responsible electricity and water services, and through innovative partnerships and initiatives that attract and retain industry and jobs, Santee Cooper powers South Carolina. To learn more, visit