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

August 27, 2020

Duke Energy has selected three properties in South Carolina for participation in its 2020 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.

“Our Site Readiness Program has been highly successful and a valuable tool for our partners and communities across the Carolinas,” said Stu Heishman, Duke Energy’s vice president of economic development and business recruitment. “Our team works with local and regional partners to develop a strategy to advance the readiness of selected sites and recruit national companies to the Carolinas. We have strong relationships with our state and local partners, and leverage the expertise of nationally recognized consultants to maximize the impact of the program.”

The locations include:

Dillon County: The Woodle Site is a 163-acre property that is located adjacent to Inland Port Dillon and is just 2 miles from Exit 190 on Interstate 95. It’s logistical advantage, along with its ample access to utilities and a skilled and plentiful workforce, makes this the ideal site for distribution facilities and manufacturing.

“We are excited to have partnered with Duke Energy to develop an excellent site here in Dillon County through their Site Readiness Program. The program allowed us to not only identify the Woodle Site as a potential industrial site, but also enabled us to complete some of the due diligence and master planning for this site that we would have been unable to complete otherwise. The county believes the Woodle Site will immediately become one of our top sites here in Dillon County as its unmatched proximity to Inland Port Dillon and access to Interstate 95 making it a logistics haven.” – Clay Young, Director, Dillon County Economic Development

Lancaster County: Located 45 minutes south of Charlotte, the Springs Grace Complex offers a phenomenal industrial redevelopment opportunity that is one of the most attractive large heavy manufacturing properties in the state. Totaling 332 useable acres, the property is located just off S.C. 9 and provides easy access to nearby Interstate 77. Significant electrical power, rail service and an active water-withdrawal permit that allows for an intake of at least 18 million gallons per day from the adjacent Catawba River are some of the property’s premier assets.

“The value of Lancaster County’s participation in the Duke Energy Site Readiness Program has been immeasurable to our efforts over the years to expand the county’s inventory of viable and available industrial properties. As a result of this excellent program, Lancaster County has been able to win new industrial projects and secure funding to undertake critical infrastructure improvements to county-owned properties. Additionally, property owners have taken the initiative to have key recommended due-diligence items prepared that enhance the marketability of their sites so that they are better able to attract industrial projects. We are thankful that Duke Energy has made Site Readiness available to us and look forward to locating more industrial projects to those properties that have been able to benefit as part of the program.” --  Jamie Gilbert, Executive Director, Lancaster County Department of Economic Development

Newberry County: The Newberry South Industrial Site is a 192-acre single-owner property that is located on S.C. 34 about 2 miles from 4-lane U.S. 76 and 6 miles from Interstate 26. This central location halfway between Columbia and Greenville avails itself to a workforce of more than 415,000. The site is well-served with all utilities and is ideal for larger manufacturing entities. 

“Making steady economic progress as a small county is difficult. Newberry County’s growth strategy is to leverage mutually beneficial partnerships wherever we can, so we can compete above our weight class for great economic development projects. Our historic and continued partnerships with Duke Energy are absolutely key to this community’s continued success. I’m extremely grateful to Duke Energy for believing in our community, and investing in our future shared prosperity. Together, we can’t lose.” – Rick Farmer, Director, Newberry County Economic Development

Duke Energy worked with major site selection firms to evaluate the sites, including Global Location Strategies (GLS), Strategic Development Group and Site Selection Group. 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 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 $537 million in capital investment in South Carolina and more than 1,750 jobs for the state in 2019.

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

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