Horry Electric has planned an outage in the Shell community for a project that will impact more than 3,200 members and take about six days to complete. “It is scheduled for Tuesday, October 22 through Thursday October 24 and then from Tuesday, October 29 through Thursday, October 31,” says Mitchell Benton, distribution engineer for the cooperative. “We’ll be converting to a higher operating voltage in that part of our system from 7.2 kV to 14.4 kV.” The upgrade is necessary to be able to keep up with the energy demand from members.
Planned outages usually aren’t scheduled during the weekends, but this multi-day outage includes Saturday, October 26 from 9 a.m. until noon. “The service for Kingston Elementary is fed from the Shell Substation, so we had to work the schedule so they wouldn’t have to close the school during the week,” says Benton. A total of 239 members are on the circuit that serves the school.
Not all 3,200 members will be out every day of the time scheduled for the outage. “We’ve organized the job by line sections and will do one section one day and then another section the next day,” says Benton. “Members will be advised what days to expect to be affected and for how long.” In the case of this type of system upgrade, Horry Electric will caution members that outages could be as long as five hours.
As the co-op did when there was a similar planned outage in the Longs area last March, and by phone. “Notification by phone to the members in the area served by our Shell substation was made two weeks in advance,” says Benton. “Reminder phone calls are being made the day before the work is scheduled to begin.”
Notification to members about planned outages on the schedule 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.”
Postcards about the planned outage were delivered to members on October 2. Only members who will be impacted by the outage received a postcard.
Related stories from the Spring 2013 multi-day planned outage in Longs: