Empowering Communities: How Electric Cooperatives Transformed Rural South Carolina

Aug 20, 2022

  • Venue: Horry County Museum
  • Address: 805 Main Street,, Conway, SC
  • Time: 1:00 PM

The Horry County Museum presents a lecture by Lacy Ford on August 20th at 1 PM on the impact of electric cooperatives on rural South Carolina.
In the early 1900s, for profit companies like Duke Power and South Carolina Electric and Gas provided electricity to heavily populated cities and towns throughout South Carolina. It wasn’t until the creation of publicly owned electric cooperatives in the 1930s that rural South Carolinians were gradually introduced to electricity in their homes. Today, electric cooperatives serve more than a quarter of South Carolina's citizens and more than seventy percent of the state's land area, bringing not only power but also high-speed broadband to rural communities.

The rise of "public" power—electricity serviced by member-owned cooperatives and sanctioned by federal and state legislation—is a complicated saga encompassing politics, law, finance, and rural economic development. Empowering Communities examines how the cooperatives helped bring fundamental and transformational change to the lives of rural people in South Carolina, from light to broadband.