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DeFuniak Springs (Aug. 31, 2022) – It has been five years since CHELCO was awarded the utility privatization (UP) contract to serve Eglin AFB, and CHELCO’s presence on base has promoted reliability and an overall improved energy grid.

Utility Privatization is a program the government uses to transfer ownership, maintenance and operation of government-owned assets and infrastructure to a company or cooperative through a bill of sale. What the UP contract means for CHELCO and Eglin AFB is that CHELCO now owns and maintains all electric transmission and distribution infrastructure on base.

CEO Steve Rhodes recalled that winning the 50-year contract took a great effort spanning several years. “Our employees, both on base and off, have risen to the challenge of taking on this monumental new and ongoing project and hit the ball out of the park,” Rhodes said. “Over the next 45 years, I’m confident that CHELCO will provide the high level of service that Eglin and all of our members expect and deserve.”

SVP of Engineering and Operations Matthew Avery said he’s proud CHELCO helps support the military. “Knowing that we are helping support our national interests by providing reliable, resilient service to Eglin AFB is very rewarding,” Avery said.

Rocky Hudson, CHELCO’s Director of Engineering and Operations for Eglin AFB, said base personnel have commended CHELCO on their response times to outages and their overall efforts to upgrade the Eglin system. “We’ve completed all initial system deficiency corrections, and now we’ve turned our focus toward rebuilding the system as it comes due for repairs and replacements.”

CHELCO is a not-for-profit electric distribution cooperative serving more than 60,000 accounts in Walton, Okaloosa, Holmes and Santa Rosa counties.