Events held at the Columbia County Amphitheater soon will benefit from a permanent increase in power.
The amphitheater, with electrical output limited to 150 amps, recently underwent an upgrade to increase the power system to an 800-amp electrical service.
"We were really amazed at how much power a band uses when we started having events come over there," said Tony Temples, the county's construction and maintenance manager. "And every one of them has complained about the power."
Temples said Georgia Power told him that an 800-amp service could power nine large houses.
Temples said that he expects the project to conclude by the end of the week.
The project is being funded with special purpose local-option sales tax dollars and at a cost of about $5,000.
The electrical changes involve two steps.
Temples said that an electrician first installed the electrical box, followed by the installation of a primary line by a contractor for Georgia Power.
"On several events requiring various vendor setup, we have reduced the number of vendors or rented generators to support the event or festival," said Columbia County Community Events Manager Stacie Adkins. "By increasing amps, we will be able to secure more vendors to make the events more attractive and better for our patrons."
The electrical upgrades will eliminate the need for two rented generators, which previous acts had to rely on for power.
The electrical work did not halt any services at the amphitheater, Temples said.
Residents living behind the amphitheater will not be any more affected by the upgrades than what they experienced with the previous electrical system, Temples said.
Though the new electrical service will not increase the volume of sound from events, it has numerous advantages.
"They will be able to hook up their sound, their lighting and any video equipment they have to the service," Temples said.
Temples agrees with Adkins that the electrical upgrades will improve any future events.
"You have a lot of bands that if they come down and see that there's not enough power, they wouldn't be interested in doing anything here," he said, adding that many bands don't like running their equipment off generators.
"Having the power there is good for the county and it's good for whoever's coming in."
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