ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Dec. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida communities are always looking for a competitive edge to lure large business and industry to their areas, creating more jobs and economic development activity. For Gulf, Lake, Polk and Sumter counties, that edge may well come from Duke Energy's Site Readiness Program.
Duke Energy selected four Florida properties for participation during the second half of its 2017 Site Readiness Program to prepare them for business and industrial development. The sites were selected based on their potential to bring large businesses and industries to their respective areas.
The locations include:
- A 115-acre site located in Port St. Joe along the eastern edge of the Florida panhandle. (Gulf County)
- A 265-acre development â Summer Lake-Grace â located at the Wolf Branch Innovation District. (Lake County)
- A 110-acre property located in central Florida and nestled in the Haines City industrial park. (Polk County)
- A 218-acre site strategically located one-and-a-half miles from Interstate 75 in central Florida. (Sumter County)
Two properties were selected earlier this year, for a total of six Florida properties participating in the 2017 Site Readiness Program. The properties selected earlier are Tavistock's International Corporate Park Sunbridge site, a 119-acre site in Orange County, and Crescent Communities' New Century Town Center site in Seminole County, which features approximately 100 available acres for development.
"As we work to build a smarter and more reliable energy future for our state, economic development is integral to creating stronger, more competitive communities and, ultimately, a stronger Florida," said Harry Sideris, Duke Energy Florida state president. "Helping our communities develop ready sites will attract business growth and bring increased job opportunities and economic prosperity to entire regions."
Duke Energy Florida's economic development efforts have helped attract more than 265 companies to Florida since 2001, resulting in more than 40,000 new jobs and $3.4 billion in capital investment.
Through the Site Readiness 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. Ideal properties for Duke Energy's Site Readiness Program are typically 75 acres or larger and served by the utility. Occasionally, a large vacant industrial building may be evaluated to support renewed industrial growth and sustainable development in a community.
Site selection consulting firm McCallum Sweeney Consulting evaluates each of the sites identified. In addition, Heidt Design, a Tampa, Fla.-based engineering firm, conducts buildable area studies and generates conceptual drawings to support each site evaluation. 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. After each site's state of readiness has advanced, Duke Energy's Business Development team strategically markets these sites nationwide to companies looking to expand or relocate their operations.
Duke Energy's Site Readiness Program was recognized by Southern Business & Development magazine as one of the "South's Top 10 Site Programs" and was noted as one of the main reasons Duke Energy was named as one of the nation's "Top 10 Utility Economic Development Programs" by Site Selection Magazine for the past several years. For more information about Duke Energy's economic development programs along with available sites and buildings the in Duke Energy Florida service territory, visit duke-energy.com/FloridaSites.
About Duke Energy Florida
Duke Energy Florida owns and operates a diverse generation mix, including renewables, providing about 8,800 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.8 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.
With its Florida regional headquarters located in St. Petersburg, Fla., Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power 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.
The Duke Energy News Center serves as a multimedia resource for journalists and features news releases, helpful links, photos and videos. Hosted by Duke Energy, illumination is an online destination for stories about people, innovations, and community and environmental topics. It also offers glimpses into the past and insights into the future of energy.
Contact: Ann Marie Varga
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SOURCE Duke Energy