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S.C. Power Team recognized for economic development efforts

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Staff Report  
Published Sept. 1, 2015

S.C. Power Team, a partnership involving Santee Cooper, Central Electric Power Cooperative and the state’s 20 electric cooperatives, has been named to Site Selection magazine’s 2015 list of Top Utilities in Economic Development.

“We are thrilled to be named a 2015 Top Utility by an industry peer like Site Selection,” said James Chavez, president and CEO of the power team. “In years past, we have been given an honorable mention for our economic development efforts. It is gratifying to know that our community-focused efforts have contributed to projects announcing in our service territory, and we are seeing success in nearly every part of the state.”

The selection criteria included analysis of corporate end-user project activity for the previous year in utilities’ territories; data from Site Selection’s Plant Database; and utility and community reports.

The magazine cited more than $924 million in investment and 8,381 new jobs created in the S.C. Power Team’s coverage area. The team is planning a new website, data tools and GIS system this year, according to Site Selection.

The designation “demonstrates the new rates and incentives adopted by both Santee Cooper and the 20 electric cooperatives in 2014 are making us even more competitive,” said Larry Hinz, board chairman for the S.C. Power Team.

In 2014 the board adopted a five-year strategy that includes rate incentives and investment of more than $30 million through the Site Readiness Fund initiative, which matches local funds to advance sites and buildings across the state to make them market-ready.

"Economic development has always been a priority for Santee Cooper, and since 1988 we have seen much success by joining forces with the state's electric cooperatives and the Power Team,” said Lonnie Carter, Santee Cooper’s president and CEO.

Duke Energy, which serves portions of South Carolina, was also named a top utility.

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