SCANA, AGL See Record Demand in Southeast
With the Southeast region of the United States experiencing near
record cold temperatures this winter, it's no wonder SCANA Corp.'s
subsidiary, South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. (SCE&G), and
AGL Resources are saying that their customers are demanding record
levels of energy.
SCE&G customers set a new winter peak demand record on Jan.
3, as 4,076 MW of electricity were used over a one-hour period
during the morning. The new peak record dethrones the old record
of 3,900 MW, which was established the morning of Dec. 20, 2000.
December 2000 set numerous records for South Carolina. The
24-hour winter energy use record of 81,133 MW was set on Dec. 20 as
well, and the month was the coldest December on record in Columbia,
SC, since 1917. SCE&G's all-time one-hour peak demand record
and 24-hour demand record are still held by July 21, 2000. On that
day, 4,211 MW of electricity were used in a one hour period and
84,006 MW set the 24-hour demand record.
Natural gas usage got into the record books in the state as well
on Jan. 3, said SCE&G and South Carolina Pipeline Corp. The
companies said the instantaneous day-rate use of natural gas going
into the Columbia, SC city-gate reached a record 90 MMcf/d, while
gas going into the Charleston, SC city gate reached a record 78
MMcf/d. SCE&G said Columbia's average instantaneous winter use
is normally 60 MMcf/d, and Charleston averages approximately 50
"The near record cold temperatures in December and early January
have significantly increased demand for both electricity and
natural gas by our customers," said Neville Lorick, SCE&G's
president. "While we are being tested to meet this record demand,
we are encouraging our customers to exercise conservation measures
to blunt the impact of expected higher energy bills."
AGL Resources spokesman Nick Gold said that Atlanta Gas Light's
distribution system in Georgia is moving a remarkable amount of gas
as well. "For us to get hit so cold for such a long period of time
is really unusual. In fact, I think it is the coldest in decades.
This past Saturday (Dec. 30) was our third highest send out of gas
going through our system in company history. Everyone is under a
great demand right now, which is really pushing our system to the
Gold added that the levels of gas being moved this early in the
season is unheard of. "December of 2000 versus December of 1999, we
are sending out 30% more volume through our system then we were a
Williams also reported that its Transco mainline is moving an
above-average amount of gas for the period. "Mainline
transportation utilization is in the high 90% range," said Chris
Stockton, spokesman for Transco. He said that while it has been
colder than normal for this time of year, the system has yet to set
any peak-day records. He attributed this to spiking natural gas
prices pushing some consumers to alternative fuel sources.
The SCANA subsidiaries assured that they were capable of meeting
the demand of all of their firm customers, but said they were
forced to curtail gas supplies to about 250 of their interruptible
industrial customers. SCE&G and South Carolina Pipeline said
they hope that forecasted warmer temperatures toward the end of the
week will reduce natural gas demand to the point that they will be
able to turn interruptible customers back on.