Lockhart Power Company was incorporated in 1912 by an act of the South Carolina legislature. It was a wholly owned subsidiary of Milliken & Company (or a predecessor company) until 2007, when Roger Milliken decided to integrate it into the newly created Pacolet Milliken Enterprises.
The site of the existing Lockhart Hydro Project was originally developed by the state of South Carolina as a canal lock system in the 1820’s. In 1893-94, the original canal was enlarged and a dam was built to supply the newly constructed Lockhart Textile Mill with water for its hydromechanical water wheels. The current Lockhart hydroelectric facility was developed for the purpose of supplying electricity to the textile mill and later to the surrounding communities. In 1918 modifications on the 1.5-mile power canal and construction of the current power house began, both which were completed in 1920. The power house contains five vertical-shaft Francis turbines that were rehabilitated in the late 1980’s.
Lockhart Power also manages and operates the Columbia Canal Hydroelectric Project, with its own rich history that parallels that of the Lockhart Canal. This facility was constructed in 1896 to provide power for the adjacent Columbia Mill, which was the first textile mill in the United States to use AC motors and generate power away from the mill.
In 2012 Lockhart Power celebrated its 100th anniversary by giving back to its community. The company planted 100 trees throughout its service area to celebrate each of the company’s 100 years of service. In addition, Lockhart Power sponsored numerous community events throughout the year in order to honor the power company’s 100th anniversary while supporting the local people and economy.
In 2013, Lockhart Power constructed new corporate offices next to the Lockhart hydroelectric facility to accommodate growing administrative space needs and to provide an updated service center for its customers.