“Crews worked Tuesday through Thursday of last week and work will begin again tomorrow, Tuesday, April 16,” says Mitchell Benton, distribution engineer for Horry Electric. “If things go as well as they did last week, we’ll be completely finished by Wednesday afternoon.”
The project is conversion of a specific area on the Horry Electric system from an operating voltage of 7.2 kV to a higher operating voltage of 14.4 kV. The upgrade is necessary to be able to keep up with the energy demand from members.
Members who will be affected by Part 6 of the project were first notified by phone last night and will be reminded this evening with a follow-up phone call. “We’ll be working on the conversion from 9 a.m. until about 2 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, April 16,” says Benton.
Part 7 of the project has been scheduled for Wednesday, April 17 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. This is the final part of the project and members who will be affected will get a phone call tonight and a reminder call Tuesday evening.
Scheduling a planned outage can be challenging. “We know there isn’t ever going to be a convenient time for everyone, so we try to find a time that will be the least inconvenient,” says Benton. Planned outages are rarely scheduled on Mondays or Fridays. “We also try to avoid holidays; times of the year when traffic will be bad or the weather will be too severe for members to manage being without power for an extended period,” he says, adding that those considerations doesn’t leave a lot of options for the cooperative and its crews.
Notification to members about planned outages is a priority for the cooperative and its employees do not take lightly. ”An unexpected outage is one thing,” says Benton. “An outage planned in advance is another.” When notifying members of a planned outage that has been scheduled, the Cooperative always expresses appreciation in advance for the patience and understanding of its members who will be impacted. “We truly regret any inconvenience the interruption in service might cause, but we want them to be assured that it will greatly improve the quality of their electric service.”