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2015 Economic Development in Review

February 03, 2016   By Annie Caggiano in Economic Development

Volvo Cars broke ground on its new car manufacturing facility in Berkeley County in Sept. 2015. The new plant will initially produce the next-generation Volvo S60 sedan.

2015 represented an outstanding year for Santee Cooper and our electric cooperative partners. It all began with one of our strongest Januarys on record: By Jan. 28, we'd announced over $190 million in capital investment and 800 new jobs. Just four months later we announced that Volvo Cars would be building its first U.S. facility right here in Berkeley County. The announcement represented a $500 million capital investment and 2,000 jobs. In partnership with our electric cooperatives, we finished the year strong with a total announced investment of more than $1.4 billion and 5,085 jobs.

Looking back

There is a ton of work that goes on before any ribbon is cut or shovel of dirt is turned. For the staff of Santee Cooper and our partner, the South Carolina Power Team, this involves marketing our service territories directly to company executives, site location consultants and industrial product developers. It was a busy year:

Product Development

    • Supported the development of nine new industrial properties through our economic development loan program.
    • Announced a CSX select site in our direct service territory — one of only three CSX select sites in the state.
    • Completed a consultant review of power-intensive sites.
    • Initiated the master plan for the commerce park adjacent to the future Volvo plant.


    • 17 marketing missions
    • Face-to-face meetings with 137 companies
    • Met with 22 site-location consultants

Looking forward

The announcement of Volvo's first U.S. plant in our service territory has set a high bar for Santee Cooper's economic development team in 2016. In conjunction with our Power Team partners, we have an aggressive plan for this year, including:

  • New website
  • Over 25 marketing missions scheduled
  • New lead generation programing
  • More targeted marketing focused on automotive suppliers and power-intensive manufacturers
  • Continued product development through Santee Cooper's loan program
  • Initiate infrastructure construction for the commerce park adjacent to Volvo

Santee Cooper is proud of its economic development legacy in South Carolina, and we're eager to build on this legacy in 2016.