WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
SOUTHERN UTAH POWER COMPANY
St. George, Utah
LOCATION1 North Main Street
St. George, Utah 84770
Telephone 50 in the 1941 telephone book
HISTORYServed Washington and Iron Counties.
The municipal power concept began in St. George in March of 1909 with a small hydro generation system powered by water from the open ditch of the Cottonwood Canal at the base of Pine Valley Mountain. Beset by problems and operating at a loss, the city sold their power system along with a 25 year franchise to a private businessman in 1916. It became known as Dixie Power Company and added additional hydro generating plants on the Santa Clara Creek near Veyo. This evolved into Southern Utah Power Company which moved to Cedar City in the early 1930's. In 1940, when the 25 year franchise expired, the mood of city leaders and citizens was for St. George to hold its energy future in its own hands. On May 16, 1941, voters soundly approved $300,000 of electric revenue bonds and St. George Power Company was started
In February 1917 a fifty-year franchise was granted to the Southern Utah Power Company, and by September most of the homes in Hurricane were wired and ready for the power which was turned on that same month.
The Southern Utah Power Company agreed to enlarge and cement the La Verkin Canal from the west entrance of the tunnel to the dam in exchange for the right to carry water in the canal to its power plant in the Virgin River canyon west of La Verkin.
After Southern Utah Power Company declined to serve Escalante Valley in the 1940’s because it was not financially feasible, Parley Moyle, and his son, Gordon, began soliciting support from area residents to organize an electric cooperative. These residents applied for federal funds and organized the Escalante Valley Rural Electric Association in 1946.
Dixie REA was organized in 1946 because St. George City Power and Southern Utah Power Company declined to serve homes and farms in the St. George and Washington Fields area.
SUU-0022 Southern Utah Power Company Building
REFERENCES"Southern Utah Power To Increase Capacity" The Deseret News, December 20, 1947
"Southern Utah Power Lack Solution Offered" The Deseret News, March 17, 1949