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Coastal Electric Cooperative has ribbon-cutting for new Richmond Hill facility
Coastal Electric ribbon cutting 0204
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Monday during Coastal Electric Cooperatives member-appreciation day at its new facility at 3700 Highway 17 in Richmond Hill. From left: Brianne Yontz, executive director of the Richmond Hill/Bryan County Chamber of Commerce; Clay Godley, Coastal Electric vice president of customer service; John Wood Jr., Coastal Electric retired board member; Stephen Mullice, Coastal Electric Board of Directors president; Barbara Davis, Coastal Electric Board of Directors secretary-treasurer; Chris Fettes, Coastal Electric vice president of engineering and operations; and John Wood III, Coastal Electric board member. - photo by Brent Zell

Chris Fettes didn’t suppress his excitement Monday about Coastal Electric Cooperative’s new facility in Richmond Hill.

During the cooperative’s membership-appreciation day event at its new customer-service and solar-energy resource center at 3700 Highway 17, Fettes — Coastal Electric’s vice president of engineering and operations — smiled while telling the audience how the facility is between two Interstate 95 interchanges and right along a well-used highway.

“We always talk about why Coastal Electric came to Richmond Hill. If I could’ve picked a better location, I don’t know if I could’ve found one,” he said.

Monday’s event also featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the facility. According to the cooperative’s website, Coastal Electric serves Bryan, Liberty, Long and McIntosh counties — a geographical footprint that made the new Richmond Hill location vital.

“What a better way to support not just the northern part our system, but for all our customer who travel this corridor, you almost have to come by here if you’re going anywhere in this coastal region,” Fettes said.

Fettes added that the new facility is considered an investment in the future.

“We build power lines that last 50, 80 years and that’s the way we look at this office in terms of investing in the future,” he said.

Coastal Electric board President Stephen Mullice told the News that the facility will advance the cooperative’s solar projects as well as accommodate the growing number of members in Bryan County alone. He estimated that about 5,000 to 6,000 members are in Bryan County.

“This is a great facility for what we were able to acquire it for. It’s really outstanding,” Mullice said. “Our leadership and our board did an excellent job of securing this facility.”

Members can use the new center to make payments, create accounts and discuss matters with a customer-service representative, according to the cooperative’s February 2016 newsletter. They also can get information about the cooperative’s renewable-energy program and solar power.

The facility will host an open house from 5-7 p.m. this coming Monday.

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