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ElectriCities of N.C., SRP, Santee Cooper and TVA Recognized as Top Utilities

ElectriCities of North Carolina, Inc., Arizona public power utility Salt River Project, South Carolina’s Santee Cooper and the Tennessee Valley Authority have been recognized as top utilities by Business Facilities, a leading economic development and site selection magazine.

Since 2017, the publication has selected its annual list of the country’s leading utilities based on their work in advancing the industry, engaging the community, and helping bring economic development to their coverage areas. ElectriCities has been on the list every year, ElectriCities noted.

Announcing ElectriCities as a top utility for 2024, Business Facilities highlighted ElectriCities’ Industrial Electrification & Efficiency Grant Program, “a powerful new tool available to support existing business and industry within North Carolina’s public power communities,” Business Facilities editors wrote.

The competitive grant program enables commercial and industrial electric customers to make energy efficiency improvements within their facilities. ElectriCities piloted the program in 2023 and is considering expanding it in 2024.

Business Facilities also highlighted two recent ElectriCities-driven economic development successes in North Carolina public power communities:

Redevelopment of an abandoned and previously contaminated former furniture manufacturing site in the public power community of Drexel, North Carolina.

“ElectriCities assembled a group of partners, including federal, state, and local level agencies and grantors, to acquire the property, clean up the environmental contamination, and raise more than $6 million to add the infrastructure required for a modern, rail-served industrial site,” wrote Business Facilities editors.

Siemens Mobility breaking ground on its $220 million advanced manufacturing and rail services facility at one of ElectriCities’ shovel-ready Smart Sites in the public power community of Lexington, North Carolina.

“ElectriCities also helped Siemens meet its environmental and sustainability goals by working with the company to develop a strategy to support facility operations with renewable energy,” wrote the editors.

“The projects Business Facilities cited exemplify the diverse opportunities in public power communities across North Carolina, where one size does not fit all,” said Carl Rees, Manager of Economic and Community Development at ElectriCities. “ElectriCities works with each community to attract businesses and grow their economies according to each community’s unique strengths.”

Salt River Project

The magazine noted that SRP offers rebates for myriad improvements, including its new construction solutions program. Through the program, stakeholders in a construction project collaborate with SRP during the design stage to explore how to incorporate energy efficiencies. Benefits of the program include life-cycle energy savings that drive a higher return on investment for owner-builders and property managers passing utility-cost savings on to tenants through lower lease rates.

SRP’s 2035 sustainability goals are centered on carbon emissions reduction, water resiliency, customer and grid enablement, supply chain management and waste reduction, and customer and community engagement. The organization has nearly met its water resiliency goal of storing 1 million acre-feet of water supplies, the magazine said.

SRP also has achieved a 5.6% water intensity reduction in FY22 (from the FY16 baseline) and uses software to monitor and reduce water and energy use at an SRP facility. SRP manages two watersheds (Verde and Salt) totaling 8.3 million acres, seven dams and more than 131 miles of canals.

Santee Cooper

Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s state-owned electric and water utility, and the state’s largest power provider, supplying electricity directly and indirectly to more than 2 million people in all 46 counties and supplying water indirectly to more than 200,000 people, the magazine noted.

“Santee Cooper offers many economic development programs and incentives, including loans and grants, for businesses in the state -- all aimed at making it easier and more enticing for companies to do business in the state,” the magazine said.

Also, Santee Cooper “has been environmentally focused and thoughtful throughout the development of Camp Hall, a next-generation commerce park in Berkeley County. Camp Hall has direct access to Interstate 26 and is located 30 minutes from the Port of Charleston -- streamlining transportation and helping business run smoothly.”


TVA’s economic development organization “works in partnership with local power companies and regional, state, and community partners across the seven-state region to attract and retain jobs and investment, engage with existing industries, and serve with our partners to help foster economic growth in the Valley,” the magazine noted.

TVA Economic Development “offers companies and site selection consultants targeted services and relocation incentives, including project management; site selection and real estate; incentives; workforce and community analysis; electric utility consultation; conceptual facility engineering and design; and logistics analysis all at no cost to companies, consultants, or community partners.”

TVA’s Product Development initiatives help communities become more competitive in their efforts to attract new jobs and investment through innovative, market-driven investment programs, while new strategic workforce development programs "have been designed to aid in developing a highly skilled and diverse workforce to enable Valley communities to meet the needs of prospective clients."

The magazine also noted that TVA has invested $1.5 billion in energy efficiency and demand management over the next four years. TVA is exploring advanced nuclear power options and expanding solar capacity along with several technologies for achieving its long-term decarbonization goals.