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Energy Disruptions

Hurricane Florence

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Updates

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

  • Weather: Post-tropical cyclone Florence is producing rain over many Mid-Atlantic and New England states. Expected rainfall is 1 to 2 inches with some areas receiving up to 4 inches through Tuesday. Some flooding continues in portions of the Carolinas.
  • Electricity: Loads in the Carolinas region began returning to pre-hurricane levels on Monday, particularly for DUK and SCEG, while today’s forecasts indicate continued recovery, especially for CPLE. SCEG’s reported load for yesterday returned to pre-hurricane levels faster than originally forecast.
  • Generators: As load recovers, the generation mix is also returning to pre-hurricane patterns. The Brunswick nuclear plant remains offline, and the McGuire nuclear plant remains at 50% outage for maintenance.
  • Customers: As of 9:30 a.m., about 339,400 customers in North Carolina, 3,000 customers in South Carolina, and 6,500 customers in Virginia have reported electricity outages, roughly 6.6%, 0.1%, and 0.2% of the customers in the states, respectively. Outage numbers are falling across the region as restoration is underway.

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Monday, September 17, 2018

  • Weather: Tropical Depression Florence is moving northeast and producing widespread heavy rainfall over parts of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Flooding continues.
  • Electricity: Loads began increasing in SCEG, SC, and CPLE on Sunday as restoration efforts continued and temperatures rose. Today’s forecast loads are higher than yesterday’s loads, reflecting continued restoration work and the return of more typical temperature and weekday load patterns.
  • Generators: Changes in the generation mix have varied by balancing authority and reflect a range of storm impacts including low loads and temperatures, evacuations, power outages, and restoration efforts. The Brunswick nuclear plant remains offline, and the McGuire nuclear plant remains at 50% outage.
  • Customers: As of 9:30 a.m., about 486,000 customers in North Carolina, 15,000 customers in South Carolina, and 15,000 customers in Virginia have reported electricity outages, roughly 9.4%, 0.5%, and 0.4% of the customers in the states, respectively. Outage trends by county vary as the storm progresses and restoration continues.

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

  • Weather: Florence was downgraded to a tropical depression, expected to begin moving northwest today. Heavy rainfall and flooding continue across portions of the region.
  • Electricity: Load forecasts in the east (CPLE, SCEG, SC) show load beginning to recover today as the storm moves west and restoration efforts continue. CPLW and DUK in the west expect lower or similar loads today compared to yesterday.
  • Generators: Solar generation has declined over the past few days, particularly in CPLE and SCEG. Coal and natural gas generation has varied by balancing authority. One of the McGuire nuclear plant’s two units shut down beginning Friday night for planned maintenance unrelated to Florence.The Brunswick nuclear plant remains offline as of Saturday night.
  • Customers: As of 10:52 a.m., about 703,000 customers in North Carolina and about 52,000 customers in South Carolina have reported electricity outages, roughly 14% and 2% of the customers in the states, respectively. Outage numbers are falling in some counties and rising in others as the storm moves inland and restoration is underway.

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Saturday, September 15, 2018 PM Edition

  • Weather: Tropical Storm Florence is centered 40 miles south of Florence, South Carolina, and continuing west at a slow 3 mph. Winds reaching 45 mph extend up to 150 miles from the center, mainly near the coast. Florence is expected to weaken to a tropical depression by tonight. Heavy rainfall and flooding continue across portions of the region.
  • Electricity: Loads continue to be substantially lower than preceding days, a combination of hurricane impacts (cooler temperatures, evacuations, and outages) and the normal pattern of lower weekend loads compared to weekdays.
  • Generators: Hydro generation in SCEG, DUK, and SC has grown in the past few days, particularly during the early morning hours, compared to the pre-hurricane period.
  • Customers: As of 3:30 p.m., about 736,500 customers in North Carolina and about 80,000 customers in South Carolina have reported electricity outages, roughly 14% and 3% of the customers in the states, respectively. Outage numbers are falling in both states as restoration is underway.

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Saturday, September 15, 2018 AM Edition

  • Weather: Tropical Storm Florence is centered 35 miles west of Myrtle Beach, SC and is moving west at 2 mph. Winds reaching 50 mph extend up to 175 miles from the center. Coastal areas have had up to 40 inches of rain, while inland areas have seen up to 10 inches. Heavy rainfall is expected to continue causing catastrophic flash and prolonged river flooding. Florence is expected to weaken to a tropical depression by tonight.
  • Electricity: Loads continued to decrease substantially in the CPLE, SCEG, and SC balancing authority areas, reflecting area evacuations and outages. The declining load pattern in SCEG closely parallels the 2017 load decline caused by last year’s Hurricane Irma (see p. 6). SC’s revised load for yesterday (Friday) is much lower than initially reported.
  • Generators: Around 8:00 p.m. yesterday, Duke Energy began reducing generation at its McGuire nuclear plant (see p. 4) for planned maintenance unrelated to Florence.
  • Customers: As of 8:30 a.m., about 813,500 customers in North Carolina and 95,000 customers in South Carolina have reported electricity outages, roughly 16% and 4% of the customers in the states, respectively.

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Friday, September 14, 2018 PM Edition

  • Weather: Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm, now located 50 miles west of Wilmington, North Carolina and moving westward at 3 miles per hour (mph). Maximum sustained winds are about 70 mph. Heavy rainfall in the region’s coastal area is causing catastrophic flooding.
  • Electricity: Electricity loads have decreased substantially in the Duke Energy Progress East (CPLE) balancing authority area over the past two days. The decrease reflects area evacuations and outages. CPLE’s peak load today is about half the peak load at the start of the week.
  • Generators: The Brunswick nuclear plant located just south of Wilmington on the North Carolina coast shut down yesterday in preparation for hurricane-force winds.
  • Customers: As of 4:30 p.m. about 664,500 customers in North Carolina and 95,000 customers in South Carolina have reported electricity outages, roughly 13% and 4% of the customers in the states, respectively.

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Friday, September 14, 2018 AM Edition

  • Weather: At 7:15 a.m. this morning, the center of the Category 1 Hurricane Florence made landfall east of Wilmington, North Carolina. Florence is moving west at a slow 6 miles per hour (mph) and is expected to remain fairly close to the coast today. Estimated maximum winds are 90 mph.
  • Electricity: Electricity loads in the Carolinas’ coastal balancing authority areas (Santee Cooper (SC), South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCEG), and Duke Energy Progress East (CPLE)) have decreased substantially over the past two days.
  • Generators: The Brunswick nuclear plant located just south of Wilmington on the North Carolina coast shut down yesterday in preparation for hurricane-force winds.
  • Customers: As of 9:30 a.m. about 485,000 customers in North Carolina and 32,600 customers in South Carolina have reported electricity outages, roughly 10% and 1% of the customers in the states, respectively.

See full update >

 

Background on Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence likely to affect Southeast U.S. electric power, transportation fuels

Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall near the area of Wilmington, North Carolina, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as a Category 2 storm on Friday. The storm’s high winds and heavy rainfall are likely to affect energy infrastructure throughout the region, particularly for electricity transmission and distribution, while widespread evacuations and disruptions to normal business operations could alter electricity demand and supply and demand patterns for transportation fuels. See full Today in Energy article ›

Check out hourly data for Balancing Authorites in the hurricane's path: