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Groundbreaking Held for New Caldwell Office
Breaking ground today for a new office and operations center for Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation and its subsidiary, Blue Ridge Energies, marks the start of a new era for the cooperative that was formed by Caldwell County residents in 1936 and is now one of the largest in the country.
The new office is also part of northern Caldwell County’s economic revitalization enhancements. It will be located on the new Cooperative Way, beside the cooperative’s corporate headquarters facing Blowing Rock Blvd across from Exela.
The $12.5 million project covers 17 acres and includes new facilities that will improve safety and operations for linemen, especially when operating large line trucks, poles and heavy equipment. A warehouse with space to house line trucks, pole yard, and maintenance areas will be included.
Propane and heating fuels facilities including storage, a filling station for propane cylinders and maintenance areas for the cooperative’s propane and heating fuels business, Blue Ridge Energies, will also be provided. An electric vehicle charging station will also be added for public use.
A new member and customer service office for Blue Ridge Electric and Blue Ridge Energies will be at the forefront of the building. Also featured is a new community meeting room which can accommodate up to 120 people The room will fill a need for local meeting space lacking in the county and will be available to reserve for community meetings.
Finally, a showroom featuring propane gas and electric products such as fireplace hearths, heaters, gas logs, water heaters, back-up generators, and more will be displayed featuring both traditional and more contemporary options. Blue Ridge Energies and Blue Ridge Electric trained staff can advise consumers on best options for products and programs for their home or business.
The Caldwell office serves 16,000 Blue Ridge Electric members in addition to several thousand customers of the cooperative’s propane and heating fuels subsidiary.
The current district office for Blue Ridge Electric was built in 1995 and the current Blue Ridge Energies office, which will be sold, was constructed in 1994 by the former Beall Oil and Propane Company.
Once vacated, Blue Ridge Electric’s current district office at Nuway Circle will house the cooperative’s engineering and operations staff as well as the cooperative’s Internet and Telephone service contact center.
Blue Ridge Electric is one of the largest electric cooperatives in the nation, serving some 74,000 members in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes, Avery and Alexander counties. The cooperative is continuing to grow into diversified businesses, such as propane and heating fuels and broadband business-to-business services, to improve local communities.