Beginnings in Charleston
The response to Hurricane Hugo perhaps best exemplifies SCANA’s story during its long history. On the night of Sept. 21, 1989, the eye of this Category 4 storm came ashore at Charleston, S.C., where SCANA began in 1846. With winds approaching 150 miles an hour, Hugo destroyed in just hours an electric delivery system that took 100 years to build. Finding new and better ways to succeed, employees restored power to 300,000 customers within 17 days.
- In 1846, local business leaders formed the Charleston Gas Light Company, the earliest predecessor of SCANA. Their business was the manufacture of gas from coal, oil and resins.
- In the spring of 1848, the first gas streetlights appeared. By the end of the year, 485 customers were taking advantage of this newest luxury.
- The first electric lights appeared in Charleston in 1882, but it was not until the formation of the Charleston Electric Light Company in 1886 that electric lighting proved successful in Charleston.
- Charleston City Railway Company emerged in 1861. By 1897, electric streetcars were rolling in Charleston. Electric trolley lines were the chief source of income for early utilities, which created and promoted different entertainment events to increase ridership.
- By the turn of the century, mergers meant fewer but larger utility companies as the demand for electricity continued to grow. Mergers accelerated in the early 1920s, and in 1926 South Carolina Power Company formed when several smaller utility companies consolidated in Charleston.
- South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (previously known as Broad River Power Company) merged with South Carolina Power Company in 1948, consolidating the companies' neighboring service territories. The initial stock offering of SCE&G was issued successfully that same year.
- Fast forward to 1984: SCANA, the diversified holding company as it is known today, was formed. That restructuring allowed the corporation to segment its various businesses and diversify into other energy-related enterprises while maintaining its foundation in the traditional electric and natural gas utility fields. SCE&G remains SCANA’s principal subsidiary today.
- SCANA trivia: In selecting the name ‘SCANA’, several things were desirable. The company wanted to be easily identified with SCE&G and reflect the commitment to the betterment of the state. SCANA is not an acronym, but rather was derived from the letters in South Carolina.
- SCANA Corporation, headquartered in Cayce, S.C., is an energy-based holding company principally engaged, through subsidiaries, in electric and natural gas utility operations and other energy-related businesses in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.
- SCE&G, SCANA’s principal subsidiary, has approximately 664,000 electricity customers in 24 counties in the central, southern and southwestern portions of South Carolina.
- SCE&G also provides natural gas service to approximately 313,000 customers in 38 counties in South Carolina.
In 1960, SCE&G and three neighboring electric utilities began constructing one of the first electricity-producing nuclear power plants in the U.S.
- Parr Nuclear Station began commercial power operation in 1964. The 17.5-megawatt unit was the prototype for other nuclear power reactors used to generate civilian power.
Parr Nuclear Station was taken out of service in 1967 after providing extensive research data that laid the foundation for V.C. Summer Nuclear Station. Decommissioned in 2009, the Parr site is now a grassy field.
Nuclear Now and in the Future
Learn more about some of the power plants and pipelines that serve the SCANA family of companies.