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Summer 2016

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Lonnie Carter Santee Cooper CEO

At the American Public Power Association’s National Conference last month, APPA President and CEO Sue Kelly spoke about issues that keep utility leaders up at night. Chief among them are cyber security, new regulations, distributed generation like rooftop solar power, and workforce planning.

These are all critical issues for every utility, including Santee Cooper. As I think about initiatives we have in place for each of these areas, I am confident that Santee Cooper is preparing in a way that minimizes costs to customers where we can and protects utility employees and assets as well.

> In terms of cyber security, the Santee Cooper Board of Directors recently approved a new executive officer position, chief information officer, and named Dom Maddalone to fill it. Dom possesses 24 years of national and global IT executive experience, and he has the experience necessary to effectively shape strategic direction and protection of our IT resources and cybersecurity matters.

> Regulations come with a price tag. Generally, Santee Cooper strives to anticipate and plan for regulations, which generally means we can achieve compliance for a lesser financial impact. The Clean Power Plan is no exception. Although the CPP is currently caught in the court system, Santee Cooper has been preparing for carbon restrictions for years and we are better positioned than many utilities when those restrictions do take force.

> Distributed generation primarily means rooftop solar and other behind-the-meter (customer-owned) power right now. Santee Cooper recently rolled out new rooftop and community solar incentives that help our customers make the initial investment, but in a way that is fair to all customers including those who aren’t interested in solar power. Visit www.santeecoopersolar.com to learn more.

> Workforce planning is essential in today’s energy industry. Santee Cooper is in the middle of a stretch of years where nearly a third of our workforce is eligible to retire. Several years ago we launched new programs to strengthen our leadership ranks, partner with technical colleges to create apprenticeship programs to train the next generation of skilled workers in our plants, and began a continuous improvement movement to address workforce and workplace efficiency.

Ms. Kelly is right to identify some of the major issues facing utilities today. You have my word that Santee Cooper is focused on each of these as we continue working to be a leading resource for improving the lives of all South Carolinians.

Lonnie Carter