Blue Ridge Energy is hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony this week for new facilities in Lenoir that combine member/customer service and operations for both the electric co-op and its propane and fuels subsidiary. Employees moved in on Monday from facilities down the road on Nuway Circle.
More than 23,000 cooperative members and propane and fuels customers will be served from the new location. The 17-acre site includes a covered warehouse for trucks, tools and other operations equipment; a pole yard for storing and loading power poles and large equipment; a propane filling station and operations centers for line technicians and propane and fuels technicians.
“Line technicians and our entire service fleet will be able to better respond to emergencies as well as regular maintenance work,” said Jeff Benfield, Caldwell operations manager for the cooperative. “The larger warehouse will store supplies needed for system maintenance and repairs.” The facilities can also better accommodate visiting crews when needed during times of emergency response for widespread outages.
Members will be able to view smart home automation technology in action in the facility’s expanded showroom, which includes gas and electric appliances such as indoor and outdoor fireplaces, gas logs, water heaters, hearths, fire tables, space heaters and generators. The facility also features a community meeting room that can accommodate up to 120 people.
The addition will not have an impact on rates, with costs spread out over several years.
The ribbon cutting and open house are this Friday at the new facility at 100 Cooperative Way in Lenoir (accessible from Blowing Rock Blvd.), beginning at 11 a.m. Get a bird’s-eye view of the facility in an online fly-over.