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McMaster orders review of state’s power grid

Updated: Feb. 19, 2021 at 12:52 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC/AP) - Gov. Henry McMaster ordered a review of the state’s power grid to make sure it can withstand “rare winter weather conditions.”

The governor said in a post on Twitter that he asked the state’s Office of Regulatory Staff to undertake “a comprehensive review” of the state’s public and private power grid.

He is calling for the review, he said, to evaluate the grid’s ability to withstand the kind of severe weather conditions states in the Midwest have seen over the past week.

Texas has been hardest hit by power outages, with some 3 million left without electricity as an arctic blast drove temperatures into an uncharacteristic plunge and electrical grids buckled under the high demand. Utilities from Minnesota to Mississippi have imposed rolling blackouts to ease the strain on their grids.

In a letter to ORS Executive Director Nanette Edwards, McMaster said South Carolina is prepared for and stands ready to respond to hurricanes and other forms of severe weather.

“However, these recent events serve as a reminder that dangerous ice storms and severe winter weather can significantly affect those areas typically unaccustomed to such conditions, and when they do, they often have disastrous consequences,” McMaster wrote.

He also asked the agency to include utilities like Santee Cooper, over which it does not have regulatory authority, in its review.

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