SCE&G 2015 plan details its expansion plans for solar power

South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) on Feb. 27 filed with South Carolina state regulators its 2015 integrated resource plan (IRP), noting that total territorial energy sales on its system are expected to grow at an average rate of 1.4% per year over the next 15 years, while firm territorial summer peak demand and winter peak demand will increase at 1.8% and 1.4% per year, respectively, over the forecast horizon.

The summer peak this year is expected to be 4,747 MW, while the winter peak (2015-2016 season) is expected to be 4,602 MW. Energy sales this year are expected to be 22,635 GWh according to the SCANA (NYSE:SCG) utility subsidiary.

The company also said in its filing with the state Public Service Commission (PSC) that it expects its energy efficiency programs to reduce retail sales this year by 71,307 MWh, or about 71 GWh. Retail sales after that energy efficiency impact are expected to be 21,853 GWh.

SCE&G also noted that if the cost of solar panels continues to fall at a rate comparable to its recent past, then there should be a significant amount of solar generation added to the system by SCE&G’s customers.

The total solar PV capacity on its system, operational or soon to be operational, is about 8,924 kW DC, SCE&G said. The company on Feb. 9 filed a distributed energy resource (DER) plan, whose goal is to have an amount of solar capacity on the system by Jan. 1, 2021, that equals 2% of the retail peak load averaged over five years. As a result, SCE&G plans to add about 100 MW of solar capacity to its system.

The company also said that it is participating in activities seeking to advance renewable technologies in the future, including efforts involving offshore wind activities in the state and smart grid opportunities. SCE&G noted, for instance, that in an effort to promote wind turbine research, it invested $3.5m in the Clemson University Restoration Institute’s wind turbine drain testing facility at the Clemson campus in North Charleston. On smart grid activities, the company noted, for instance, that it has about 9,600 advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) meters that are installed predominantly on its medium to large commercial customers as well as its smaller industrial customers.

Transmission planning outlined for 10-year period

The company noted that its transmission planning practices develop and coordinate a program that provides for timely modifications to the SCE&G transmission system to ensure a reliable and economical delivery of power. The program includes the determination of the current capability of the electrical network and a 10-year schedule of future additions and modifications to the system.

SCE&G said it has an ongoing process to determine the current and future performance level of its transmission system, adding that numerous internal studies are undertaken that address the service needs of customers, including distributed load growth of existing residential, commercial, industrial and wholesale customers.

The company also noted that it has developed and adheres to a set of internal long-range planning criteria, and it subscribes to the set of mandatory electric reliability organization (ERO), also known as the NERC reliability standards for transmission planning.

SCE&G said that its transmission system is interconnected with Duke Energy’s (NYSE:DUK) Duke Energy Progress and Duke Energy Carolinas, as well as South Carolina Public Service Authority (Santee Cooper), Georgia Power (Southern (NYSE:SO)) and the Southeastern Power Administration (SEPA) systems. The company said it participates with other transmission planners throughout the southeast to develop current and future power flow and stability models of the integrated transmission grid for the NERC Eastern Interconnection.

The company further noted that to ensure the reliability of its transmission system while considering conditions on other systems and to assess the reliability of the integrated transmission grid, it participates in assessment studies with neighboring transmission planners in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. Also, on a periodic and ongoing basis, SCE&G participates with other transmission planners throughout the region to assess the reliability of the southeastern integrated transmission grid for the long-term horizon – up to 10 years – and for upcoming seasonal – summer and winter – system conditions.

Joint studies with neighboring transmission owners that were completed over the past year include the Carolinas Transmission Coordination Arrangement (CTCA) 2018 summer, 2021 summer expansion plans studies and the FERC simultaneous import limit (SIL) studies – triennial filing.

SCE&G also discussed the Eastern Interconnection Planning Collaborative (EIPC), which was initiated by a coalition of regional planning authorities and provides a grass-roots approach that builds upon the regional expansion plans developed each year by regional stakeholders in collaboration with their respective NERC planning authorities.

The EIPC purpose is to model the impact on the grid of various policy options determined to be of interest by state, provincial and federal policy makers and other stakeholders. That work, SC&EG added, builds upon, rather than replaces, the current local and regional transmission planning processes developed by the planning authorities and associated regional stakeholder groups within the entire Eastern Interconnection.

Of FERC Order 1000, the company noted that it filed with FERC in October 2012 its proposed actions to achieve compliance with the regional requirements of the order. FERC in April 2013 conditionally accepted the company’s regional filing subject to SCE&G providing more clarity and adding greater detail to its compliance filings. The company has submitted additional regional filings since then, including one on Feb. 23, which FERC is reviewing.

In that Feb. 23 filing with FERC, the company provided revisions to Attachment K for its open access transmission tariff (OATT) in compliance with FERC’s third compliance order. SCE&G noted that FERC, for instance, instructed the company to revise the provision in its OATT describing by when an enrollee must withdraw from the region in order to avoid regional or interregional cost allocation where the withdrawing enrollee has been identified as a beneficiary of the project and allocated costs associated with the project.

SCE&G said that it has revised Attachment K to state that enrolled transmission providers that withdraw from the region will not be responsible for cost allocation for any project that has not yet been selected for inclusion in the regional transmission plan as of the time notice of withdrawal is provided.

The company also said that it filed with FERC in July 2013 its proposed actions to achieve compliance with the interregional requirements of Order 1000. FERC on Jan. 22 conditionally accepted the filing subject to SCE&G providing more clarity and adding greater detail to its compliance plans. By March 24, SCE&G will submit a second interregional filing addressing those points.

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About Corina Rivera-Linares 3286 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares was TransmissionHub’s chief editor until August 2021, as well as part of the team that established TransmissionHub in 2011. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial from 2005 to 2011. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines.