While our origins date back to the Colonial era, advocates for the Santee-Cooper Hydroelectric and Navigation Project saw it as a much-needed shot in the arm for South Carolina’s slumping post-Depression economy. Champions for the project knew the construction of the Santee Cooper reservoirs would create valuable employment opportunities, but they also saw the long-term economic benefit of electrifying rural South Carolina.
We’ve never lost sight of our responsibility to be an economic engine for South Carolina, and in 1988 we formally teamed with The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina to create the South Carolina Power Team. Its mission is to locate, expand and retain business through the state, especially in some of its more rural reaches served by the co-ops.
In 2006, the Power Team introduced three initiatives to further these efforts by certifying sites, providing professional development training and assisting with strategic planning for economic development.
- Through five years, a total of $945,201 in funding has been awarded through the Certified Sites Initiative, resulting in 24 industrial properties across the state being certified “shovel ready” for acquisition and development.
- Over that same timeframe, the Professional Development Initiative has provided $188,430 in scholarships to 44 professionals from economic development organizations across the state.
- Since 2006, the Strategic Planning Initiative has awarded $1,327,110 to county development groups and regional alliances to hire professional consultants to develop 50 organization-specific strategic plans, target industry studies or marketing implementation plans.
All told, the Power Team has committed more than $2.4 million in grants through these initiatives to support economic growth in South Carolina. This is in addition to everything else the Power Team does to add value to the state.
Since 2006, the Power Team also has been involved with 150 announcements of new or expanding industry in 34 counties, which represents an investment of more than $2.4 billion dollars and the addition of 13,766 jobs. In our direct-service territories, there have been 29 announcements, representing an investment of $879,500,000 and the creation of 2,228 jobs.
Last year, the efforts of Santee Cooper and our economic development partners resulted in over 1,450 new jobs, capital investments exceeding $193,645,000 and 15.4 MWs of new load.
Improving lives is a fundamental pursuit at Santee Cooper, and it’s evidenced by our commitment to economic development.