Santee Cooper receives national awards for reliability, safety

MONCKS CORNER, SC (WCSC) - MONCKS CORNER, SC (WMBF) - Santee Cooper has been honored by the American Public Power Association with a top reliability award for 2009.

APPA representatives presented Santee Cooper the Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) recognition for providing customers the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service.

APPA also presented Santee Cooper the organization's Electric Utility Safety Award for safe operating practices in 2009 during the association's annual Engineering and Operations Technical Conference, in Omaha, NE.

The RP3 award places Santee Cooper among the top 5 percent of public power utilities nationwide in reliability, or one of 94 designated as an RP3 provider among the nation's more than 2,000 public power utilities. In 2009, Santee Cooper's reliability on its distribution system was 99.9972 percent, while its transmission system's reliability was 99.9989 percent, according to company officials.

"We're honored to receive our RP3 designation," said Zack Dusenbury, the utility's vice president of retail operations. "Santee Cooper employees work hard to provide reliable service to our community. RP3 is a much appreciated recognition of this dedication."

The RP3 recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four disciplines: reliability, safety, work force development and system improvement. Criteria within each category are based on sound business practices and represent a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity.

APPA's safety award recognizes Santee Cooper, among APPA's large utilities, for having the best safety record as measured by number of incidents in 2009. Specifically, Santee Cooper came in first among utilities with 1 million to 4 million worker-hours of exposure.

"Safety is the top concern when it comes to working with electricity," said Marc Gerken, chair of the APPA Board of Directors. "These utilities should be proud of the efforts they've put forth to guarantee that safety is always top of mind."

APPA is the national organization representing more than 2,000 not-for-profit, community and state-owned electric utilities. It is located in Washington, DC.

Santee Cooper is South Carolina's state-owned electric and water utility, and the state's largest power producer.

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