On February 5, 1940 the Articles of Incorporation were officially approved forming Black River Electric Cooperative, Incorporated. The Cooperative was formed by area residents to provide low-cost reliable electric service to rural South Carolina, an ideology still held today. The Cooperative established its headquarters at 13 Caldwell Street in Sumter. By December of 1940, 111 miles of line had been energized. Mr. P.M. Brown was our first president.
Throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s as the country grew, so did the Cooperative. By the end of 1969, the Cooperative had close to 10,500 members and over 2,170 miles of energized line. The 1970’s brought changes in technology and locations. A branch office was opened in the Camden area and the headquarters was moved to its current location on North Pike Road West in Sumter. The 1980’s saw a new warehouse built at the Sumter office and a new branch office in the Camden area.
Hurricane Hugo in 1989 forever changed the landscape of the Cooperative’s territory. Those who worked throughout the storm shall never forget the devastation. Twenty-two days after the storm hit, the Cooperative was able to reconnect everyone ready for power.
The 1990’s ushered in many economic developments in the Cooperative’s territory. Black River Industrial Park has several businesses and the Cooperative is actively promoting the area to industrial prospects. The Cooperative also worked with Lee County to develop an industrial park near Interstate 20.
The Cooperative currently has 74 employees dedicated to the core belief of reliable service, quality customer service and democratic member ownership. With over 31,000 meters and 3,400 miles of energized line, the Cooperative continues to grow. Black River is committed to providing the membership with the most reliable, affordable service possible.