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Duke Energy Site Readiness Program a win for economic development, jobs in South Carolina

2019-08-27 13:38 ET - News Release

- Company partners with communities to identify high-quality industrial sites in Palmetto State
- Since 2005, participating properties have won 15 major projects, resulting in more than 2,600 new jobs and nearly $1 billion in capital investment

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy has selected four properties in South Carolina for participation in its 2019 Site Readiness Program to enhance the readiness of the sites for business and industrial development.

The Site Readiness Program has helped prepare properties that have won 15 major projects in South Carolina since the program started in 2005, resulting in more than 2,600 new jobs and nearly $1 billion in capital investment.

Through the program, Duke Energy identifies high-potential sites and partners with county officials and local economic development professionals to develop a strategy for getting the site fully ready to market to industrial projects.

"Economic development is a team sport and we are a key position player – working with many local and regional partners throughout the economic development process to achieve success," said Stu Heishman, Duke Energy's vice president of economic development. "We have a specific focus on site readiness, industrial recruitment and working together with our state and local partners. The Site Readiness Program is a great tool for communities across the Carolinas to help close deals."

The locations include:

  • Chester County: The Steele Property is a 724-acre property in Chester County located on a four-lane divided highway with easy access to two exits on I-77. The site is ideally suited to a wide range of manufacturers with its excellent transportation infrastructure, robust utilities and close proximity to both Charlotte and Columbia, each providing access to a civilian workforce of 1.2 million.
  • Florence County: The Dargan Site is located in a business area of Florence. Infrastructure is in place that makes this a great site for the right industry.
  • "Duke Energy is a strong ally for the Florence County Economic Development Partnership and assists with economic development efforts in many ways – the Site Readiness Program being one of them," said Florence County Economic Development Director Joe W. King. "Acceptance into the Site Readiness Program helps set Florence County sites apart from others by ensuring due diligence and quality. Duke Energy's national presence combined with its emphasis on economic development makes it feel like an extension of our own team."
  • Greenwood County: The Emerald Industrial Site is a 177-acre property in Greenwood County within 25 miles of both I-26 and I-385, with direct immediate access to four-lane highways. Greenwood County boasts a modern and diverse economic base. About 26% of the local workforce is dedicated to manufacturing.
  • Lancaster County: The Airport Industrial Site presents a tremendous opportunity for future industrial development. It rates well for size, infrastructure, access and topography. The property is well suited for aerospace companies that would need access to an airport with a 6,000-foot runway but is ideal for a variety of manufacturers.

    "Lancaster County looks forward to working with the owners in the industrial development of the property and greatly appreciates Duke Energy for selecting the site for evaluation," said Jamie Gilbert, director at the Lancaster County Department of Economic Development.  

Duke Energy worked with major site selection firms to evaluate the sites, including Global Location Strategies (GLS), Strategic Development Group, Site Selection Group and Quest Site Solutions. Based on consultant recommendations, Duke Energy will collaborate with county leaders and local economic development professionals to develop an improved strategy for marketing these sites. Additionally, each site is eligible to apply for a $10,000 matching grant from Duke Energy to help prepare it to attract projects.

"GLS and Duke Energy have a shared mission of making communities investment-ready in order to create long-term, sustainable success," said Didi Caldwell, founding principal of GLS, a site selection firm based in Greenville, S.C. "Investment readiness doesn't happen overnight and requires a commitment to identify, assess and prepare sites in order to attract capital investment and jobs. Through Duke Energy's Site Readiness Program, communities throughout its service territory are reaping the rewards of the journey that will have lasting impact for generations to come. We are pleased to play a role in advancing them along the investment readiness journey."

After each site's state of readiness has advanced, Duke Energy's business recruitment team strategically markets each of them nationwide to companies looking to expand or relocate their operations.

Duke Energy's economic development efforts are perennially recognized by Site Selection magazine in the publication's annual list of "Top Utilities in Economic Development." Through these efforts, Duke Energy helped recruit $1.8 billion in capital investment in South Carolina and more than 3,900 jobs for the state in 2018.

For more information about Duke Energy's economic development programs, visit http://locationdukeenergy.com.

Duke Energy

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers' experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit's regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2019 "World's Most Admired Companies" list, and Forbes' 2019 "America's Best Employers" list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

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