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Winter 2017

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South Carolina Notable State

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Lonnie Carter, President and CEO of Santee Cooper

Earlier this month, an editorial team asked me the following question: What are Santee Cooper’s priorities for 2017? It’s a question to be expected at the start of a new year, and I didn’t hesitate in providing my answer.

First, Santee Cooper must do all we can to support completion of the ongoing expansion at V.C. Summer Nuclear Station. These new nuclear units will provide reliable, clean and safe electricity across South Carolina for generations to come. With Fluor Corp. now managing the construction of units 2 and 3, we hit several major milestones in 2016 and expect to continue that good progress this year.

Another focus will be continued protection of our physical and cyber assets. Beyond the recent U.S. presidential race, hackers have targeted U.S. industry for years and each attempt gets more sophisticated. Electric utilities are primary targets – both our physical and digital assets – and Santee Cooper is working with peer utilities and security experts to keep abreast of new threats and develop new tools to protect our assets.

Strategic planning and development of our infrastructure, specifically pipelines and wires, is also important as we look to 2017 and beyond – for all utilities. In particular for South Carolina and Santee Cooper, we need a long-term solution to the lack of natural gas infrastructure in the eastern half of the state. We also need to make sure the grid is developed to best serve growing and shifting populations.

The fourth priority is important because it will ensure success in the other three: continued workforce development.  Santee Cooper has one of the best groups of employees in the industry – that I know. We have good training programs in place, and we have created educational partnerships externally to keep our talent pipeline full and prepare for anticipated retirements. Santee Cooper remains committed to developing our employees, both for their own advancement and so that we can continue serving South Carolina with affordable and reliable electricity, environmental stewardship, economic development and excellent customer service.

All the best in 2017.

Lonnie Carter