Empowering Giles County's Progress
Electricity first came to Pulaski in December of 1891, "for the purposes of lighting the streets and furnishing lights to the citizens thereof for domestic, business and church use."
The local newspaper reported the following account: "At exactly 7:00 PM last Saturday night, the 20th of December, the electric lights flashed out over Pulaski, sending a sun-like glory through her hitherto dark and murky streets. A vast concourse of people turned out to see this formal turning-on, and a great many gathered at the plant to witness it.... The evening passed awfully away, and all guests departed with reluctance from the scene of so much pleasure."
(1915-City of Pulaski Light Department Generation Facility on the corner of Fourth & Block Street.)
During its early years, PES was known simply as the City of Pulaski Light Department. At first, electricity was provided through an 80-horsepower diesel engine that lit the courthouse square and the adjoining businesses. By 1915, a small generation facility had been built at the corner of Fourth and Block Streets and city-wide electrification was underway.
(Mary Jo Hickman shown above with TVA representatives and city officials...1934.)
In 1934, Pulaski became the first Tennessee electric system to receive power from the newly formed Tennessee Valley Authority. The formation of TVA greatly enhanced the stability and growth of the local electricity supply. At that time, the City's Light Department served only 840 customers.
In 1939, the City of Pulaski purchased a small number of rural electric lines from the Tennessee Electric Power Company and the Light Department began serving customers outside the city limits. In 1946, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen authorized the construction of 400 miles of new rural lines as a first step in promoting electrification throughout Giles County. Expansion continued for several decades, and in 1961 the City of Pulaski formed a separate Power Board to govern the newly renamed Pulaski Electric System. PES has continued to upgrade its lines and construct substations to support Giles County's growth.
In March of 2007, PES launched its state-of-the-art 100% fiber-optic network known as Energize. This broadband network provides high-speed data, television and telephone services to residents and businesses in and around Pulaski.
PES currently serves nearly 15,000 electric customers in Giles County and offers its "triple play" of video, voice and data services to a growing number of customers. PES will continue in its mission to empower Giles County's progress for years to come.