RALEIGH, NC - June 19, 2017 – Duke Energy has selected six North Carolina properties for participation in the first half of its 2017 Site Readiness Program to prepare them for business and industrial development.
The Site Readiness Program has helped prepare properties that have won 11 major projects in North Carolina since the program started in 2005, resulting in more than 2,400 new jobs and $3.3 billion in capital investment.
Through the program, Duke Energy identifies high-quality industrial sites and partners with county officials and local economic development professionals to develop a strategy for providing water, sewer, natural gas and electricity to the properties.
"This program shines a light on high-quality industrial sites across the state, and enables communities, especially in rural areas, to attract jobs and build thriving economies," said John Geib, North Carolina economic development director for Duke Energy. "We're committed to continuing these efforts that help build stronger communities and ultimately, a stronger North Carolina."
The locations include:
- The Newlin Farm Site in Haw River is a 200-acre tract with heavy power and water infrastructure and easy access to Interstates 40 and 85. It is a complement to the site inventory already present in Alamance County and is capable of meeting the needs of a large industrial project.
"As a local economic developer, I consider this program to be a real value-add to our own local efforts and appreciate Duke Energy being a proactive partner," said Mac Williams, president of the Alamance County Chamber of Commerce. "This program focuses on local property issues, which helps communities prioritize limited local resources to better compete for jobs and tax base."
- The Little Rhino site in Chatham County is a 290-acre tract situated in close proximity to the Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing site. It has adjacency to Highway 64 and will likely serve as a supplier park or commercial support park (hotels, convenient stores, etc.) to any nearby larger project.
"Duke Energy has been an excellent partner in this effort. This site assessment is the third for Chatham County, and is a big boost to economic development efforts," said Kyle Touchstone, president of Chatham Economic Development Corporation. "The input from the study is invaluable for strategically marketing an industrial site."
- The 79-acre Craven County-owned site in the Craven County Industrial Park is located on U.S. Highway 70 near New Bern. This is a prime location for industrial use.
"Having this site in the Craven County Industrial Park included in the 2017 Duke Energy Site Readiness Program is a huge boost for the attraction of potential industry to the site," said Timothy Downs, director of Craven County Economic Development. "The review and advice from McCallum Sweeney will be invaluable in helping us effectively market this industrial site."
- The 401 North Site is a 532-acre property located near the Highway 401 and Interstate 295 interchange in Cumberland County. It is well suited for industrial use as it has excellent infrastructure that includes rail.
"With the help of Duke Energy and this process, we are able quantify and effectively convey the full potential of the site," said Robert Van Geons, president and CEO of the Fayetteville Cumberland Economic Development Corporation. "The journey from a vacant piece of land into a project-winning economic development site is complex, and we are grateful to be included in this program that has such a strong track record of results."
- The Watson Farm site is a 278-acre parcel located between Youngsville and Franklinton on Highway U.S. 1 North in Franklin County. The site has excellent potential for industrial development and can be rail served.
"The Duke Energy Site Readiness Program provides an excellent opportunity to have a professional site assessment performed by a nationally recognized site consultant firm," said Richie Duncan, director of Franklin County Economic Development. "The findings will enable us to identify key attributes of the site in order to help us better compete for industrial and manufacturing projects in the future."
- The 278-acre Roberts and Wellons site in Johnston County is located on the NCRR/Norfolk Southern main rail line. Minutes from downtown Raleigh and the Research Triangle Park, this site has the potential to accommodate biotech manufacturing facilities as well as warehousing, distribution, refrigeration and other projects.
"Today's companies want to move quickly on launching new locations, and that means being certain their technical requirements are in place," said Chris Johnson, director of the Johnston County Office of Economic Development. "The Duke Energy Site Readiness Program walks us through that process in a very valuable way, providing us access to influential site-selection consultants while also giving them exposure to Johnston County and the advantages we can offer their clients."
Site consulting firm McCallum Sweeney Consulting will evaluate the six sites. 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.
After each site's state of readiness has advanced, Duke Energy's business development team strategically markets each of them nationwide to companies looking to expand or relocate their operations.
"We understand the important role our company plays in the economic development landscape, and we work diligently to keep our rates competitive," Geib said. "North Carolina can better compete for business investment, growth and jobs with reliable electricity and affordable energy prices."
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 $2.2 billion in capital investment in North Carolina and more than 5,500 jobs for the state in 2016.
For more information about Duke Energy's economic development programs, visit considerthecarolinas.com.
About Duke Energy
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the United States. Its Electric Utilities and Infrastructure business unit serves approximately 7.5 million customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. The company's Gas Utilities and Infrastructure business unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its Commercial Renewables business unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the United States.
Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.