A spike in commercial and industrial growth
Jul 1, 2016
A quick survey would reveal that there’s quite a bit of activity related to industrial and commercial growth on the Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative system. By my own count, at least a dozen startups of either new electrical loads or expansions of existing loads are in various stages of development.
These projects represent excellent news for the cooperative’s service area for a number of reasons I could cite:
- The addition of hundreds of new, good-paying jobs
- The environmentally friendly profiles of all these plants and commercial establishments
- The introduction of sizable capital valuations to local tax rolls
- The stimulation of the region’s commerce
Added kilowatt-hour sales
From our vantage point here at Blue Ridge, these commercial and industrial concerns couldn’t be more welcome. The added volume of kilowatt-hour sales to these large-power members will surely produce a greater return on our massive investments in electric-distribution facilities. Correspondingly, greater sales to these C&I accounts will help the cooperative hold down both the frequency and size of any future retail rate increases for residential members.
I’d also hasten to point out that these signs of progress aren’t occurring in a vacuum. At the heart of each of these success stories, you’d uncover ample evidence of patient hard work by the county economic-development agency. The 12 projects I referenced earlier are divided among Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties. I take my hat off to these agency officials for their strenuous efforts in successfully marketing their counties to these firms.
What’s more, the cooperative is partnering with our local economic-development offices in their recruitment programs. Our employee team works actively to support all these folks as they endeavor to improve the economic conditions in their respective counties.
While we’re doing all that, we’re also making necessary upgrades to our power-delivery network to ensure quality service for any new plant or other establishment. Whether it’s powering a modest home or a huge industrial complex, Blue Ridge majors on service reliability. As a member-owned utility, we can do no less.
Charles E. Dalton