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BEMC to Add Utility-Scale Battery Energy Storage to Local Grid

BEMC to Add Utility-Scale Battery Energy Storage to Local Grid

SUPPLY, N.C. (January 7, 2022) – Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) today announces the planned installation of cutting-edge battery energy storage technology in Bolivia. The battery project will be integrated at an existing electric substation, adding local energy resources that will enhance system resilience and reliability for co-op consumer-members.

“Brunswick Electric is committed to innovation that advances our Brighter Future vision for electricity that is affordable, reliable and supports our sustainability goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Josh Winslow, CEO of BEMC.

The battery in Bolivia is one of 10 substation batteries being deployed in rural locations this year by North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, including BEMC. Collectively, the batteries will provide 40 MWs of power, and will be charged when demand for electricity is low and discharged during moments of peak demand for power. This not only enhances electric reliability but is expected to provide cost savings over the lifetime of the batteries. Because cooperatives are not-for-profit, at-cost energy providers, co-op members will benefit from those savings.

Installation of the battery energy storage system will begin early this year, with activation anticipated in the summer. The installation will create temporary construction jobs and help enhance area resources for future investment.

In addition to substation batteries, BEMC and the network of cooperatives in North Carolina have worked together for years to lead innovative energy strategies, including community solar, microgrids, demand response programs and solar plus storage initiatives.

“We will continue to lead the integration, management and optimization of resources and technologies that benefit our community and local consumer-members, now and in the decades to come,” said Winslow.

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BEMC to Add Utility-Scale Battery Energy Storage to Local Grid

Brunswick Electric annual auction returns to benefit Community Grants program

Brunswick Electric annual auction returns to benefit Community Grants program

SUPPLY, N.C. (August 30, 2021) – It’s back. Brunswick Electric is hosting its annual auction to raise funds for the Community Grants program.

From Tuesday, September 7 at 8:00 a.m. through Friday, September 17 at 3:00 p.m., Brunswick Electric members will have the opportunity to cast bids for trucks, trailers, equipment and more. The auction will take place at the Brunswick Electric office located at 795 Ocean Hwy W, Supply, N.C. 28462. All items up for auction will be in the office parking lot, along the fence behind the second building available to view.

The auction will be conducted in a sealed bid format. Bid sheets will be available in the office lobby during regular business hours. Once members have placed their bid, they will return their bid sheet to the office lobby. Winners will be notified by a Brunswick Electric representative

The Community Grants program funds projects for non-profit organizations and community groups that make a positive impact on our community. Since 2003, more than $646,000 has been given back to local communities through the program. Eligible groups may apply to Brunswick Electric for grants up to $2,500 each year for projects that fall into these five areas: family services, civic and community programs, cultural and arts programs, emergency services, and economic development.

For more information, please call 800-842-5871 or visit and


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Brunswick Electric annual auction returns to benefit Community Grants program


Brunswick County resident supports community with birthday fundraiser

SUPPLY, N.C. (August 11, 2021) – Most people expect to receive gifts on their birthday, but not Jane-Marie Terefencko. The Brunswick County resident used her seventieth birthday as an opportunity to give to others. Jane-Marie celebrated her big day by asking her friends and family to support Brunswick Electric’s Warm Homes, Warm Hearts utility assistance program. Together they raised $13,215, which was matched by Brunswick Electric, providing $26,430 to help those in need.

“We are blown away by the generosity of Jane-Marie, her friends and family,” said Josh Winslow, CEO of Brunswick Electric. “Their support of Warm Homes, Warm Hearts will have a huge impact on our communities. Last year was a difficult one, with many of our neighbors experiencing unemployment or financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This contribution helps ensure that funding is available to those who need a helping hand with their electricity bill.”

Jane-Marie themed her birthday party around The Amazing Race, her favorite TV show. Her family and friends formed 13 groups of four to take on a series of games and challenges throughout the day, all of which helped raise money for the cause.

“At age 70, what did I need?” asked Jane-Marie. “A surprise party? Gifts? Dinner? Nah. Instead I thought that it is time to be thankful for all the wonderful things that have happened over my 70 years and give back. Our Brunswick Community Charities Committee gave a list of vetted organizations in our area, but the one that stood out was the Brunswick Family Assistance(BFA) in conjunction with BEMC’s Warm Homes-Warm Hearts program and the ‘power of neighbors helping neighbors’. With BEMC matching funds, we felt that any money we raised, and then doubled, would benefit so many more people in our area.

“The first goal was to raise $5,100, representing the year I was born,” continued Jane-Marie. “When the $5,100 was surpassed thought just maybe $7,000 representing my seventieth birthday might be a possibility. I never could ever believe that neighbors helping neighbors could raise $13,215.”

The Warm Homes, Warm Hearts utility assistance program began in 2008. Dollar for dollar, donations are matched by Brunswick Electric up to $50,000 annually. One hundred percent of the funds go to help those in need and are distributed through Brunswick Electric partnering agencies – Brunswick Family Assistance and the Columbus County Department of Aging. Since the program’s beginning, well over $1 million has been given to help thousands of local families.

“The money from Warm Homes, Warm Hearts enables BFA to help low-income individuals and families with their utilities and avoid disconnection,” said Stephanie Bowen, Executive Director of Brunswick Family Assistance. “To have electricity means a working refrigerator, air conditioning in the hot summer months and heat in the coldest part of winter. These are basic human needs that some people simply cannot afford. BFA is so grateful to BEMC and our community for keeping this vital program alive. It is only with the help of community partners like BEMC and the love and support of people like Jane Marie, who want to give back, that BFA can continue to provide the increasing levels of support needed in Brunswick County. These funds mean so much to the people in our County struggling to make ends meet and BFA is grateful to be an avenue of support through the Warm Homes, Warm Hearts program.”

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Supply, N.C. (April 9, 2021) – Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) is pleased to announce its 2021 Community Grants recipients. A total of $29,792 was awarded to 23 organizations that offer family services, civic and community programs, cultural and arts programs, emergency services, and economic development programs in their service area.

Since the program’s inception in 2003, BEMC has awarded more than $646,000 through Community Grants, funding projects that positively impact the community.

“The Community Grants program is a part of BEMC’s ongoing commitment to serving our members and the communities in which we live,” said Josh Winslow, CEO. “These contributions allow us to impact the lives of our members in meaningful ways, and we are pleased to help these organizations make a difference.”

Applications for the 2022 BEMC Community Grants program will be available in December and accepted through February 15. To learn more about the program, please visit

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2021 Community Grants Recipients



Supply, N.C. (March 30, 2021) – Local educators can apply for a Bright Ideas grant from Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) starting on April 1. The grants, offered annually to teachers to bring creative classroom learning projects to life, support innovative projects that energize classroom learning and enhance student success. Educators can learn more and apply online at

“As students and teachers face the challenges of the past year, we’re pleased to continue our long history of supporting them with grants that fulfill needs in local classrooms,” said Scott Thomas, VP, Corporate Services of BEMC. “As a community-focused organization, we are committed to building a brighter future for our students and our region, and we encourage all educators with ‘bright ideas’ to submit an application.”

BEMC expects to award $32,000 in Bright Ideas grants this year to K-12 teachers across its service area in Brunswick and Columbus counties. Grants of up to $2,500 are available in all subject areas, and teachers can apply individually or as a team.

Applications will be accepted April 1 through Sept. 15, 2021. Teachers who submit their application by the early bird deadline of Aug. 15 will be entered to win one of five $100 Visa gift cards.

Additional Resources

Bright Ideas Grants

Brunswick Electric Restoration Efforts Continue In Tornado Stricken Areas


Supply, N.C. (February 16, 2021) – Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) continues its restoration efforts in the areas hit hardest by last night’s severe weather. As of 11 am the cooperative is reporting around 3,000 outages, down from a peak of 35,000 less than twelve hours ago. BEMC is working with county and city officials to expedite the final restoration efforts. 

The storm’s strength caused extensive damage to the cooperative’s transmission system, including downed poles and trees, with the most significant impact felt in the communities around Ocean Ridge in Ocean Isle Beach.

“We’ve put the full strength of our resources into the restoration effort and are collaborating with our contractors and local governments to complete it as quickly as possible,” said Josh Winslow, BEMC’s CEO. “Our thoughts continue to be with all who’ve experienced this storm’s devastation; please know that you are our priority.”

BEMC is hoping to complete restoration efforts today and is asking for members’ patience as they work with community partners to ensure the safety of all involved.

For your safety, never go near downed or sagging power lines and be aware that fallen lines may be under debris. Always assume power lines are energized and report damage immediately by calling 800-682-5309. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for frequent updates.

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2-16-2021Outage Restoration11am

Tornadoes Bring Destruction To Brunswick Electric’s Service Area


Supply, N.C. (February 16, 2021) –Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation(BEMC) is currently reporting over 7,000 power outages caused by severe weather that raged through their service area before midnight. The storm’s strength caused extensive damage to their transmission system by toppling poles and trees, impacting around 35,000 members at its peak.

Crews are out in force, working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power to cooperative members. With backfeeding technology, power was restored to around 10,000 members before 2 a.m. BEMC estimates that some of these outages will extend into the afternoon hours of Tuesday, February 16, 2021.

“Our priority is to restore power to all of our members across our service area as quickly and safely as possible,” said Josh Winslow, BEMC’s CEO. “Our thoughts are with the individuals who have suffered loss as a result of these storms.”

The storm left the community around Ocean Ridge in Ocean Isle Beach with much devastation and dangerous conditions. We ask members to be patient as we coordinate with county officials to ensure safety in the area as restoration efforts progress.

For your safety, never go near downed or sagging power lines and be aware that fallen lines may be under debris. Always assume power lines are energized and report damage immediately by calling 800-682-5309. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for frequent updates.

Additional Resources

2-16-2021 Outage

BEMC Offices Will Reopen Monday, February 15h



Supply, N.C. (February 12, 2021) – On Monday, February 15, Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) will reopen all district offices to members. To ensure employees and members’ safety, the cooperative will follow the same protective measures that were implemented in May 2020 to maintain social distancing and provide other safety protocols. 

The following protective measures will be in place: 

•    All payments must be made at the drive-thru or bill payment terminal.
•    Traffic flow will be directed by enter and exit signage, directional arrows and markings on the floor for direction and maintaining a 6’ distance. 
•    Glass barriers with half-moon spaces for paperwork transfer will separate employees and members.
•    A limited number of members awaiting assistance will be allowed in the lobby, and additional members will be asked to wait outside of the building until they are called in via their cell phone.  If a member doesn’t have a cell phone, one will be provided. 

These modifications have proven to be effective in keeping our community safe during our reopening, and allowing us to maintain high-quality service.  Members having questions or concerns before visiting one of the offices should call (800) 842-5871.

Additional Resources

PR BEMC reopening 2-11

Brunswick Electric CEO Josh Winslow Elected To National Information Solutions Cooperative Board Of Directors


Supply, N.C. (January 11, 2021) – Josh Winslow, CEO and general manager of Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC), a local electric cooperative serving over 82,000 members, has been elected to the Board of Directors of a national information technology organization. Winslow will serve a three-year board term with National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), a member-owned cooperative providing leading-edge solutions to utilities at the forefront of industry change. 

“It is an honor to serve on the NISC board as our cooperative and utilities nationwide work toward a future centered on innovative service, and data-driven business operations and management,” Winslow said. “We at BEMC are just beginning to realize the potential for ways we can leverage data to improve operations, finances and member relationships. I am eager to further the capabilities of all our organizations in these areas and lead together with strategy, vision and integrity as a member of NISC’s board of directors.”

BEMC is committed to building a brighter future for their service area by executing innovative local services and collaborating with partnering electric cooperatives. Creating a modern electric grid that is more flexible, resilient and capable of supporting new energy solutions allows BEMC to offer their members a Time-of-Use rate option and an opportunity to receive Beat the Peak alerts. 

Winslow assumed the role of BEMC CEO in 2019. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from NC State University, and he is a licensed professional engineer. In his more than 16 years with the co-op he has served as a staff electrical engineer, manager of operations, and most recently as Chief Operating Officer. 

He was elected to the NISC board after an electronic ballot for the 2020 election was launched on Oct. 15 and closed on Dec. 1. His term will expire at NISC’s annual meeting in 2024. 

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Josh Winslow NISC

BEMC Announces Repayment Plan for Members Affected by COVID-19


Supply, NC, (7/24/2020) – Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) remains committed to members experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic as normal member payment procedures resume August 3.

On March 15, BEMC made the decision to temporarily suspend service disconnections due to nonpayment and waive late payment fees on all past due accounts. NC Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 124 requiring the same action for all utilities on March 31.  Executive Order 142 was issued on May 30 and extended the terms of Executive Order 124 until July 29.  These Executive Orders stipulate that they do not relieve consumers of their obligation to pay bills for the receipt of services mentioned therein. 

As North Carolina reopens and the moratorium on utility disconnections is lifted, BEMC is aware that many members will continue to face economic hardship. Currently, 6.7% of BEMC’s accounts have past due balances with an average of $275.  In an effort to help the members most affected, the following repayment plans will be available based on the service type:

  • PREPAY ACCOUNTS: Any negative balance on prepaid accounts will be converted to an arrangement amount.  The arrangement amount will be the account balance at the end of the day on August 2 plus $20 which will be added to the current prepaid balance to allow for a positive balance and time to make purchases to keep power on.  Until the outstanding arrangement balance is fully repaid, each payment will be applied as follows:
    • 25% to the outstanding arrangement balance
    • 75% to the current energy purchase
  • MONTHLY BILLED ACCOUNTS: The overdue balance will automatically be billed as an arrangement over 12 months to begin with the September billing.


Additional Resources

7-24-2020 Press Release