CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Duke Energy Progress has chosen a 320-acre section of the Middlesex Corporate Centre in the western edge of Nash County, N.C., to participate in the utility's 2013 Site Readiness Program to prepare the location for potential industrial development.
Duke Energy's Site Readiness Program is designed to help communities served by the utility compete for new companies and jobs.
"The Site Readiness Program offers our area an outstanding opportunity to assist in diversifying our economy and adding jobs," said John Gessaman, president and CEO, Carolinas Gateway Partnership. "It strengthens our ongoing efforts to attract industry and investments."
More than 35 counties submitted applications for Duke Energy's Site Readiness Program in North Carolina and South Carolina.
The Nash County site was one of 10 North Carolina sites chosen by the utility.
"Since our merger with Progress Energy, our Business Development Team has focused on our new service area in the eastern part of the state. We look forward to working with local communities to recruit jobs and industries in counties like Nash," said Stu Heishman, Duke Energy's vice president of economic development.
As part of the six-month assessment, Duke Energy has hired McCallum Sweeney, a nationally known consulting firm, to conduct a site study. McCallum Sweeney has been instrumental in many high-profile industrial locations and expansions.
Duke Energy will work with professional land-use planners to develop conceptual plans for the site. Duke, McCallum Sweeney and the planners will present recommendations in a final report to Nash County leaders.
After the site's state of readiness has advanced, Duke's Business Development Team will actively market the site nationwide to companies looking to expand or relocate their operations.
"There are many factors that influence manufacturing companies considering a site location. Low-cost electric service and access to transportation infrastructure are always at the top of that list," said John Nelms, Duke Energy's economic development manager for Nash County.
"Duke Energy provides reliable, affordable electricity and Middlesex provides strategic access to the Research Triangle with major interstate arteries I-95 and Highway 264 East. It is 30 minutes from Raleigh and an easy drive to the airport," said Nelms.
Ideal properties for Duke Energy's site readiness program are 75 acres or larger, served by the utility. A qualified site can be suited either for a single, large industrial facility, data center, or potential industrial park (multi-tenant site).
Duke Energy's program has been recognized by Southern Business & Development Magazine as one of the South's top site readiness programs. Duke Energy's overall economic development program has also been consistently named by the Site Selection Magazine as one of the nation's "Top 10 Utility Economic Development Programs."
For more information about Duke Energy's economic development programs, visit www.considerthecarolinas.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.