SC business notebook, June 8

S.C. Power Team selects CEO

The South Carolina Power Team has named James Chavez to replace retiring Ralph Thomas as president and CEO. Chavez, currently president and CEO of Tennessee’s Clarksville-Montgomery Economic Development Council, was chosen following a nationwide search. The larger metropolitan area he serves recently was ranked second-fastest growing in the U.S., the Power Team said. He was credited by the organization as a jobs creator who understands the importance affordable power plays in industrial recruitments. Formerly, the Palmetto Economic Development Corp., the Power Team is the economic development partnership between state-owned utility Santee Cooper and the South Carolina’s 20 statewide electric cooperatives. Thomas has led the group since its inception in 1988. Chavez will start in August.

Gluten-free bakery coming to S.C.

Fancy Pokket Corp. of Canada plans to build the largest gluten-free bakery in North America at Lancaster County’s new Air-Rail Business Park. Fancy Pokket is expected to invest $13 million in the new plant which is expected to be operating by early 2014 with about 25 workers. South Carolina economic development officials expect Fancy Pokket to create 68 new jobs over the next five years. Hiring is expected to start at the end of the year. The bakery will be housed in a new 57,000-square-foot facility that will be “so clean you can eat off the floors,” company officials said. In addition to production lines, the facility will have a testing lab and a research and development department.

Nuclear plant shutting down

In a jolt to the nation’s nuclear power industry, the owners of Southern California’s San Onofre plant announced Friday they are shutting it down for good after the discovery of damaged equipment led critics to charge it could never operate safely again. The twin reactors – situated along the Pacific Coast in the densely populated corridor of millions of people between San Diego and Los Angeles – would be the largest to shut down permanently in the U.S. in the past 50 years, federal officials said. It comes at a time when the nation’s nuclear renaissance appears to have stalled – except in several Southern states, including S.C., where the first new reactors in half a century are being built.

Target plans new organic store brand

Target Corp. is planning a new organic and natural store brand as it works to rev up its grocery business. The big-box retailer said the new brand, called Simply Balanced, will start with drinks and snacks like corn chips on Sunday. The line is an outgrowth of similar products within its existing Archer Farms store brand, which is positioned as a premium alternative to national name brands, and is in response to the growing popularity of organic foods.

The (Rock Hill) Herald and The Associated Press contributed.