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McCormick to receive power from Florida-based utility

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McCormick residents will begin receiving power from Florida-based NTE Energy in 2019.

The 20-year power purchase agreement, which begins Jan. 1, will provide significant savings to the town, officials said in a news release.

“We’re looking forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with NTE Energy,” said Adam Hedden, general manager of the McCormick Commission of Public Works. “This agreement will ensure that we’re able to provide McCormick residents with reliable and affordable electricity service from some of the cleanest, most efficient electric generating facilities around.”

The public works commission was previously served by S.C. Electric & Gas, according to an email from a spokesperson for NTE. 

According to the release, the Greenwood Commission of Public Works, along with the North Carolina communities of Concord and Kings Mountain, are also slated to begin receiving long-term service from NTE on Jan. 1. 

A spokesperson for SCE&G parent company SCANA said via email that the company has an agreement to serve the McCormick commission through the end of 2018 and has not served the Greenwood commisssion since 2009. 

Parts of McCormick and Greenwood counties are also currently served by the Aiken Electric Cooperative and the Little River Electric Cooperative, according to the website of the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, a trade association for the state’s 20 electric co-ops. Central Electric Power Cooperative provides electric services to those co-ops through power purchased and distributed from state-owned utility Santee Cooper. Those purchases represent about 60% of Santee Cooper’s sales, making Central Electric Power the utility’s biggest customer.

Central Electric Power has filed suit against Santee Cooper, co-owner along with SCE&G of the abandoned V.C. Summer nuclear project, to stop the utility from charging the state’s co-ops any more money for the failed project. SCE&G and parent company SCANA Corp. have reached a preliminary $2 billion settlement in a class action ratepayer lawsuit related to the reactors.

NTE will supply power to McCormick from electric generation resources including the 475-megawatt Reidsville (N.C.) Energy Center, which is expected to begin commercial operation in 2021.

Seth Shortlidge, CEO of NTE, said the company’s gas-fired, combined-cycle facilities produce up to 50% more energy while producing less emissions than plants that run on coal or other fuels.

 “NTE’s facilities are among the cleanest and most efficient energy sources in the Carolinas, and that efficiency translates into tangible economic benefits for the local communities we serve,” Shortlidge said. “Through its agreement with NTE, McCormick will enjoy reliable, affordable electricity for years to come.”

NTE, based in St. Augustine, is also developing the Fayetteville (N.C.) Solar Energy Center, a 30-megawatt facility that will provide renewable energy to customers in the Carolinas.

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