LOCKHART — A century of renewable energy and customer service will be celebrated throughout 2012 as part of Lockhart Power Company’s centennial anniversary.
In a statement announcing the year-long celebration, Pacolet Milliken, the parent company of Lockhart Power, looked back at the company’s history which began in Feb. 1912 when Lockhart Power was incorporated by the State of South Carolina.
“Located in Lockhart, the hydroelectric company was formed to provide electrical services to the surrounding mill villages. Today, many of the mills are gone but Lockhart Power is still going stronger than ever serving residential, commercial, industrial, and resale classes of customers in its designated service area.”
That service area includes parts of Cherokee, Chester, Spartanburg, Union and York counties.
In addition to its long history of customer and community service, Lockhart Power has long been an environmentally-friendly power provider, generating 99 percent of its electricity through renewable resources including hydroelectric facilities such as Lockhart Dam.
Lockhart Power Company kicked off a year-long celebration of its 100 years of renewable energy and customer service on Thursday, Feb. 16, with a look back at its history and a look forward at plans for the future.
“We are proud to be celebrating our 100 years of service with the communities we serve and with the State of South Carolina,” said Bryan Stone, Chief Operating Officer of Lockhart Power. “The year-long celebration that officially kicked off this week will honor the past and renew our resolve to create an even brighter future.”
The year-long celebration will emphasize sustainability for the company and the communities it serves. The celebration will include a number of initiatives including the planting of 100 Noble trees by the company in its service area, including Lockhart and Union. There will also be partnerships with the communities within the company’s service area designed to improve the beauty of local landscapes, enhance economic development, and supporting charitable causes.
During the kick-off ceremony, Stone announced that Lockhart Power would increase its contributions to the various charitable organizations it supports by 100 percent. Stone said these include the local Boys and Girls Clubs, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, United Way, Union County Arts Council, and Union County Health Care Foundation, just to name few.
The centennial will also be celebrated as part of a number of local and statewide community festivals and other community events supported by Lockhart Power. Stone said the company’s participation usually takes the form of sponsorships.
The kick-off event also featured the unveiling of the company’s new corporate logo which emphasizes Lockhart Power and Pacolet Milliken’s “mission of sustainability and absolute commitment to carefully steward the earth’s resources and to be a positive force within the communities it serves. The new blue and green brand reflects Lockhart’s continuing commitment to cost effective hydro energy and other sustainable renewable energy sources.”
In addition to its hydroelectric power sources, Lockhart Power’s renewable energy system includes a landfill gas-to-power facility in Wellford. The Wellford Renewable Energy landfill facility converts methane gas generated by decaying garbage into electricity. The facility, which came online in the summer of 2011, can generate up to 1.6 megawatts of power, enough to provide electricity to more than 800 homes.
“We feel strongly that the new brand will be a symbol of our continuing commitment to sustainably serve our communities for the next one hundred years,” said Stone.
Among those participating in the centennial celebration kick-off was Lockhart Mayor Ailene Ashe who praised Lockhart Power for it reliability and its quick response to emergencies.
“One thing about Lockhart Power is that when the lights go out they are not out for long,” Ashe said Friday afternoon. “They rarely have an outage, but when they do they get the power back on really fast. It makes me feel safer knowing I’m right next door to Lockhart Power.”
Ashe said she enjoyed being part of the kick-off event and looks forward to participating in the rest of the year’s celebrations.
“I’m looking forward to this celebration,” Ashe said. “It was a great kick-off and I plan on being part of the hundred year celebration from here on out.”
City of Union Mayor Harold Thompson also participated in the kick-off and praised Lockhart Power’s long partnership with the city.
“The partnership between the City of Union and Lockhart Power has been a good one over the years and we look forward to continuing that partnership,” Thompson said Friday afternoon. “We’re probably their largest customer and over the years the people at Lockhart Power have been great to work with.”
City of Union Utility Director Joe Nichols was also among those who attended the kick-off. Nichols said Friday that the city purchases approximately 47 percent of the electricity sold by Lockhart Power.
Union County Supervisor Tommy Sinclair was also among the area elected officials who attended the kick-off. He pointed out Friday that Lockhart Power’s presence has benefited the county in a number of ways.
“First, it means about 60 jobs and, second, that they are a good corporate citizen who has helped us with economic development on several occasions,” Sinclair said. “They’ve also helped with public service events and they remain an anchor of the Lockhart community. They also provide power to our citizens. Their employees contribute to our county in many civic areas, I know because I’ve seen them do so.”
Sinclair pointed out that Lockhart Power’s centennial follows close on the heels of that of the Union County Courthouse.
“The courthouse celebrated its centennial in 2011 and Lockhart Power is celebrating its centennial this year,” Sinclair said. “Lockhart Power has been part of the foundation of the community just as the courthouse and we all look to the future.”
About Lockhart Power Company
Lockhart Power Company provides reliable and cost effective electric service to approximately 6,500 direct customers and 7,000 indirect customers in the Upstate region. It also provides renewable energy to the City of Columbia and Duke Energy Carolinas.
About Pacolet Milliken
Pacolet Milliken, Lockhart Power’s parent company, is a private, family-owned investment company headquartered in Spartanburg, with a history that dates back, through Milliken & Company, to the 1860s. It was founded as a separate corporate entity in 2007 with a forward-looking mandate to preserve and grow its assets with a bias for quality and a multi-generational outlook.