Pinnacle Finds Niche, Growth In South Carolina

June 2013, Vol. 68, No. 6

SCE&G is a regulated utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 664,000 customers in South Carolina. Many new distribution lines serving developments and communities are being placed underground which is preferred for aesthetic reasons. The company also provides natural gas service to approximately 317,000 customers throughout the state.

Pinnacle’s crews install main-line feeder cable, single- and 3-phase power cable; secondary cable, services and cable to power street lights.


Although electric distribution is the company’s primary market, Carlson said Pinnacle has subcontracted drilling for several gas contractors to install 1¼ through eight-inch MDPE natural gas distribution lines.

“During the boom in home construction in the mid 2000s,” he continued, “we also worked for multiple site contractors, developers and other contractors to install customer-provided conduit for the power company's eventual use, and also installed water lines, force sewer mains and even gravity sewer lines.”

HDD concentration

Ninety-five percent of Pinnacle’s work is horizontal directional drilling. The company currently operates seven Ditch Witch HDD units, ranging in pullback from 12,000 to 30,000 pounds, all with Ditch Witch electronic tracking systems. Pinnacle’s equipment fleet also includes vacuum excavators, compact excavators, backhoe/loaders, fiber optic cable pulling equipment, pipe fusing equipment and more than 25 trucks of various sizes to transport personnel and equipment.

“All crews are equipped with hydraulically operated reel trailers which are much safer than tip-and-load trailers,” said Carlson.

For a growing number of projects in Pinnacle’s service areas, Carlson said horizontal directional drilling is becoming preferred over open-cut construction.

“Horizontal directional drilling,” he said, “minimizes impact to residential, commercial, and environmentally-sensitive areas. Charleston is a coastal city, so we cross many waterways by HDD. We have made multiple highway and interstate crossings and we adhere to recently updated South Carolina Department of Transportation requirements which call for highly-detailed HDD bore planning.

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