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Clinton begins plans for future power sales

Clinton, South Carolina – Seeking to lessen the possibility of electric rate hikes for the city in coming years, Clinton City Council last week instructed Clinton City Manager Tom Brooks to develop contracts with Piedmont Municipal Power Agency for the potential sale of excess electric capacity starting in 2029.
The sale will only involve excess Catawba Nuclear Station capacity set aside for Clinton by PMPA but not needed by the city. Currently the city’s excess capacity has been purchased by other cities within the PMPA membership, but that contract ends in 2029.
The action by council came after a lengthy executive session between council and PMPA General Manager Joel Ledbetter.
“These contracts can take a long time to develop,” Brooks said following the meeting. “So we have to start working on that now. Council had to give me permission to work with PMPA. We will ‘right size’ our capacity,” Brooks said, referring to the work to determine how much capacity the city will need as it moves forward.
“This won’t happen until 2029 but it’s a long complicated process,” Brooks said.
By negotiating with PMPA now, Brooks said, there is time to develop the contacts with other cities, and sales of the excess power will definitely help Clinton.
In other business, council approved the city’s share of the purchase price of a new fire engine for the Clinton Fire Department.
Clinton Fire Chief Jeremy Marshall told council that a Community Development Block Grant will cover $455,000 and the city will cover $144,911, plus an additional $81,131.34 for the loose equipment needed to outfit the truck.
Council passed a proclamation honoring Hebron Baptist Church for its 140th anniversary, and it recognized three city employee service milestones – Tyrone Goggins, 25 years; Chris Moore, 20 years; and Lisa Staton, 15 years.
Council also approved second reading on the sale of 5.42 acres near Highway 72 and the I-26 Commerce Park that will be added to land now owned by Pacolet Milliken, and previously deeded to the city by Whitten Center.
“It will square up the land in the back of Pacolet Milliken,” said Mayor Randy Randall, “and in exchange we’ll get land up front needed for a road into the industrial park.”
Council agreed to schedule a brief special called meeting on Monday, Aug. 14, and developed plans for quarterly roundtable-style council workshops which will be held downstairs in the lobby of the municipal building.

This story originally ran Page 2 in the Aug. 9, 2023 issue of The Laurens County Advertiser.

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