Duke Energy completes Site Readiness Program for Lake County industrial site

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ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. - Duke Energy has completed the Site Readiness Program process for the Florida Energy and Aerospace Technology (FEAT) Park.

During a recent public meeting with the Leesburg City Council, Lake County officials and other community leaders, Duke Energy provided a detailed report about the site'’s viability and recommendations for improvement. “

"The conclusion of the Site Readiness Program does not end our commitment to the area,"” said Alex Glenn, Duke Energy state president - Florida. “"Duke Energy is committed to the city of Leesburg and Lake County for the long term. In addition to serving the site, we will work to attract new industry and jobs to the area.”"

In November 2012, the FEAT site was selected as the first Florida site in the Duke Energy Site Readiness Program, which helps advance prime sites for further development opportunities. “

"We are very excited that Lake County’'s FEAT was selected for the first Site Readiness location in Florida,"” said Robert Chandler, director of Lake County’'s Economic Development & Tourism Department. “"This is a huge win for Lake County and gives us a tremendous asset to market our business-attraction efforts. We appreciate Duke Energy and their support of our county's economic development efforts.”"

Over the past six months, Duke Energy arranged for McCallum Sweeney Consulting, a nationally recognized site selection consultant, to conduct an initial site assessment beginning with an in-depth meeting and tour with local economic development officials. A separate engineering firm, HRP Associates, completed a buildable study and conceptual plan.

The detailed report recently presented to local officials included a technical review outlining strengths, weaknesses and recommendations for next steps.

In addition, the report included a marketing evaluation and recommendations for target industries. Among them were advanced materials, aerospace, plastics, logistics/distribution and general machinery.

"“I am thrilled that Duke Energy chose Leesburg for the Site Readiness Program,”" said Leesburg Mayor David Knowles. “"They are a nationally known company that recognizes the tremendous potential for our industry and technology park to attract new businesses and to create more jobs and opportunities for the residents of Leesburg. I welcome their support.”"

FEAT Park is a Leesburg-owned site providing more than 640 acres of prime property targeting the city's economic development emphasis on aviation, aerospace and new energy development.

The site borders the interchange of Florida's Turnpike -- a direct access road crossing through much of the state -- and Lake County Road 470. More information is available at http://www.leesburgflorida.gov/feat/index.aspx.

For more information on Lake County Economic Development, visit http://businessinlakefl.com/

Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), provides electricity and related services to approximately 1.7 million customers in Florida. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and serves a territory encompassing more than 20,000 square miles including the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as the Central Florida area surrounding Orlando. Duke Energy Florida is pursuing a balanced approach to meeting the future energy needs of the region. That balance includes increased energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. More information is available at www.progress-energy.com.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.