Situated close to all major Southern markets, Greenwood is a short commute to Greenville, Columbia, Spartanburg, Asheville, Augusta, Atlanta, and Charlotte. Approximately 42% of the U.S. population is within a day’s drive.
Greenwood County is within 25 miles of both Interstates I-26 and I-385, with direct access to four-lane highways. Access to I-85 is 45 miles northeast of the County, while I-77 is located 80 miles eastward. Two four-lane, US highways traverse the County. US Highway 25 has long provided the most direct north-south access from Greenville and Augusta. The US Highway 72 corridor provides vital east-west access linking Greenwood County to US Interstate 26 to the east and to the State of Georgia.
Rail service for the Greenwood area is provided solely by CSX. CSX is South Carolina’s largest railroad, operating and maintaining 1,269 route miles, with major rail yards in Charleston and Florence and terminals in Columbia, Greenville, and Spartanburg. CSX also offers direct rail from Greenwood County to the Ports of Charleston and Savannah. In October 2013 the South Carolina Inland Port opened less than one hour north of Greenwood in Greer, extending the Port of Charleston’s reach by providing an inland area connected by rail from which goods could be distributed to the Southeast.
General aviation services are provided through the Greenwood County Airport (GRD), located three miles north of Uptown Greenwood on Airport Road. Access to large cargo and commercial facilities are available approximately one hour away at the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP). The Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) is located one and one-half hours southeast in Lexington County.
In 2015, Greenwood County became the fifth Certified Connected community in the state of SC. Developed by Connected Nation, the Connected program entails building a comprehensive action plan for developing a technology-ready community by reviewing the technology landscape, developing regional partnerships, establishing local teams, and conducting a thorough community assessment.
Traditional telephone service is provided countywide by CenturyLink. In addition, CenturyLink offers internet and television service. CenturyLink is a global communications, hosting, cloud and IT services company that provides broadband, voice, video, data and managed services nationwide over a 25,000-mile fiber network. CenturyLink’s ongoing strategy to respond to the growth and service needs of the County includes deployment of next generation digital line carriers (NGDLC) at strategic locations throughout the County to meet narrowband and broadband service requirements and provide fiber connectivity to all business customers and educational institutions to meet service requirements.
Greenwood CPW installed and maintains more than 60 miles of fiber optic communication lines used by CPW, Greenwood County, and the City of Greenwood. These lines are used for telephone communications as well as high-speed computer networking. The fiber optic network provides opportunities for teleconferencing not available in many communities and presents the potential for local partnerships and sharing of facilities among public and private institutions.
Greenwood CPW is the sole provider of natural gas in Greenwood County. CPW delivers natural gas to more than 17,500 customers through 770 miles of pipeline. CPW’s 310 square mile service area extends from near the Town of Chappells to the Town of Belton and includes portions of Greenwood, Abbeville, Anderson, Laurens, and Greenville counties. In addition to the City of Greenwood, CPW is the exclusive natural gas supplier to the Towns of Donalds, Hodges, Ware Shoals, and Ninety Six, as well as the Promised Land community.
Transco Pipeline, a subsidiary of Williams Energy, and Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission own the two major pipelines that serve the natural gas needs of the CPW service area. Transco is a major interstate provider of natural gas that is transported primarily via pipeline from the Gulf Coast to Southeast and Atlantic Seaboard states including major metropolitan areas in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission delivers natural gas to wholesale and direct industrial customers throughout South Carolina.
Water service is provided to Greenwood County residents through nine water systems. The County’s three public suppliers – Greenwood Commissioners of Public Works (Greenwood CPW), Ninety Six Commission of Public Works (Ninety Six CPW), and the Town of Ware Shoals – are the primary suppliers of water to Greenwood County residents. In addition, McCormick County Water and Sewer supplies water to residents and businesses in the Town of Troy.
Greenwood CPW serves an area of approximately 180 square miles in Greenwood County. Greenwood CPW is the 12th largest water system in the State, providing water to more than 19,000 customers. CPW also sells water to the Ninety Six CPW and Ware Shoals for distribution through their water systems. Water for CPW customers is drawn from Lake Greenwood and treated at the W.R. Wise Water Treatment Plant (WTP) on Water Plant Road. The Treatment Plant has a treatment capacity of 30 million gallons per day (MGD). The system’s storage capacity is 10.8 million gallons of water, including 7 million gallons of ground storage and 3.8 million gallons of elevated storage. The most recent surface water withdrawal permit issued by SC DHEC in 2013 allows CPW to withdraw up to 56 MGD of water from the Lake for treatment at the WTP. Treated water is distributed through CPW’s more than 500 miles of water lines.
In 2013 the W.R. Wise WTP received the Excellence in Water Treatment award from the Partnership for Safe Water for the eighth straight year. The WTP was the fourth water treatment facility in the nation to receive the award and is currently one of only 12 plants nationwide to achieve this recognition.
Electricity in Greenwood County is provided locally by three providers: Duke Energy, Greenwood CPW, and the Little River Electric Cooperative. Greenwood CPW provides power to the City of Greenwood, Duke Power provides electricity to the unincorporated areas of Greenwood County, and Little River services a small number of customers along the Greenwood/Abbeville County border.
Duke Energy provides power in all areas of Greenwood County outside of the service areas for Greenwood CPW and the Little River Electric Cooperative. Headquartered in nearby Charlotte, North Carolina, Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company and the largest electric power holding company in the United States. The company operates nuclear, coal-fired, oil- and natural gas-fired, and hydroelectric power plants.
Greenwood CPW provides electricity to more than 11,000 homes, businesses, and industries within the City of Greenwood. Greenwood CPW purchases most of its electricity from Duke Energy and the remainder from Southeastern Power Administration. CPW’s electric distribution system includes five substations and approximately 200 miles of line.
The Little River Electric Cooperative provides electricity to the Flatwood Road area near the Abbeville County border. The Cooperative is a member-owned, rural electric cooperative based in the nearby City of Abbeville. Little River provides service to more than 13,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Abbeville, Anderson, Greenwood, and McCormick Counties. The Cooperative purchases electricity from Duke Energy.
In addition, state-owned Santee Cooper operates the Buzzards Roost Dam on Lake Greenwood through a lease agreement with Greenwood County. Santee Cooper is the State’s largest power producer and provides electricity to more than 700,000 customers in 10 counties. The Buzzards Roost facility operates three combustion turbine (gas) units with a total capacity of 196 megawatts. Power generated by the facility is provided to Santee Cooper customers or sold to Duke Energy.
The Greenwood Metropolitan District (GMD) is a public service district that provides wastewater treatment within the City of Greenwood and surrounding unincorporated areas of Greenwood County. GMD has an extensive network of more than 350 miles of sewer lines that provide service to more than 14,000 customers. Wastewater collected in the system is transported to GMD’s two wastewater treatment plants for treatment – the Wilson Creek WWTP and the West Alexander WWTP. The Wilson Creek plant has a treatment capacity of 2.2 MGD and discharges treated water into Wilson Creek within the Saluda River drainage basin. The West Alexander plant has a treatment capacity of 12 MGD and discharges into Hard Labor Creek within the Savannah River drainage basin. While GMD is permitted to treat 14.2 MGD at the two plants, the daily average for both is approximately 8 MGD.
The Ninety Six Commission of Public Works (Ninety Six CPW) provides wastewater treatment for customers in the Town of Ninety Six and nearby unincorporated areas of Greenwood County. Wastewater collected travels through the system’s 40 miles of gravity sewer and force main sewer lines and 13 pump stations to Ninety Six CPW’s Pier 96 Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). The WWTP has a permitted treatment capacity of 500,000 gallons per day and discharges into Ninety Six Creek.
The Town of Ware Shoals provides sewer collection for approximately 950 customers in town, as well as unincorporated areas of the County along US Highway 25 south of Town, through its 65 miles of sewer lines. Wastewater treatment is provided at the City’s Dairy Street Wastewater Treatment Plant. The Plant has a treatment capacity of 8 MGD.