BrightRidge celebrates 75 years of public power


JOHNSON CITY – BrightRidge celebrated 75 years as the region’s largest public power provider with a Monday ribbon cutting ceremony to formally inaugurate the company’s new customer-friendly façade at its Boones Creek Road headquarters.

BrightRidge has come a long way since 2017, when the Johnson City Commission agreed a rapidly changing retail electric marketplace required a more flexible business model to succeed in the 21st Century.

“Our community really saw the need to evolve, remaining a publicly-owned power company, but better positioned to fulfill the community’s vision and respond to an evolving marketplace as an energy authority,” BrightRidge CEO Jeff Dykes said. “Three years later, we are celebrating our 75th anniversary with a ribbon cutting inaugurating our new, more customer friendly entrance, while BrightRidge continues to expand in renewable energy and ultra-high-speed Internet services.”

In the previous century, a robust and affordable electric, water and sewer supply were the basic infrastructure ingredients essential for a successful regional economy. Today, those basic infrastructure needs have expanded.

“Two things almost any new business prospect will ask about, after the regular demographic review, are the availability of broadband services and renewable energy,” Dykes said. “These items are now critical infrastructure for a successful community.”

Changing times are evident in the facade redesign of the now 20-year-old electric system building. Two electric vehicle charging stations now grace the front of the facility, with a relocated public transit shelter and lower sidewalks easing access to the building. And the building now features a new centerpiece, a solar tree, clearly designating the main entrance while highlighting the company’s ongoing commitment to developing alternative energy sources.

“I can’t remember a more challenging year in business,” Dykes said. “But despite the uncertainty of the pandemic, our company stepped up repeatedly through investments in small business relief, greatly expanded low income energy assistance, a new Home Uplift weatherization/improvement program, announcement of a new 9 MW solar production facility and continued rollout of nation-leading 10 GB broadband services, particularly in rural and underserved areas in partnership with the State of Tennessee.

“All of this was accomplished while continuing to provide affordable, reliable electricity. Thanks to our dedicated team and a strong long-term partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority, we look forward to another successful 75 years for our community.”

About BrightRidge

BrightRidge is a publicly owned electric utility serving 83,671 customers in Washington, Sullivan, Carter and Greene counties. It is the 10th largest local power company in the Tennessee Valley Authority service area. BrightRidge Broadband, a division of BrightRidge, offers nation-leading 10GB symmetrical fiber-to-the-premise services to more than 30,000 locations in its service area.