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Posted by Heidi Schwartz
Duke Energy has selected five South Carolina properties for participation in its 2014 Site Readiness Program to prepare the properties for potential industrial development. The Site Readiness Program is part of of Duke Energy’s economic development model. It identifies, evaluates and improves industrial sites in the company’s service territory to help communities served by the utility compete for new companies and jobs.
The locations included are:
- The Capps II Industrial Site is 168 acres of former farmland located in Marion County.
- The Florence Regional Airport Industrial Park, a 438-acre parcel of land that has the potential for large-scale aerospace industrial recruitment. It is located in Florence County.
- Alligator Industrial Park near McBee. The 550-acre Chesterfield County site is strategically located on S.C. Highway 151 with access to rail, natural gas and electricity.
- The Reliance Industrial Site, 100 acres in Marlboro County. Located in Bennettsville, this site has nearby access to two major interstate highways, I-74 in North Carolina and I-95 in South Carolina.
- A 314-acre site in Kingstree. The Williamsburg County farmland offers the area a chance to diversify and increase its tax base and compete regionally for new jobs and industry.
Duke Energy has hired McCallum Sweeney Consulting, a nationally known consulting firm, to conduct site studies. McCallum Sweeney has been instrumental in many high-profile automotive and industrial relocations and expansions.
“One of the most important considerations for large industrial customers is the price of electricity,” said Stu Heishman, Duke Energy’s vice president for economic and business development. “Duke Energy provides affordable, reliable and increasingly clean electricity. Electric rates at Duke Energy are competitive regionally and well below the national average.”
Duke Energy will collaborate with county leaders and local economic development professionals to develop a strategy for providing water, sewer, natural gas and electricity to the sites. The parties also will recommend road improvements, easements and rights-of-way that will be required to develop the sites, as well as steps necessary to mitigate any potential environmental impacts. Duke Energy will present its findings – including a detailed report and conceptual drawings – to county officials when the studies are completed.
“We are pleased to have these five counties in the program. Since the Site Readiness Program began in 2006, Duke Energy has evaluated 114 sites in the Carolinas,” said Heishman.
“We’ve been successful,” he added. “So far, we’ve won 12 major projects on those properties, resulting in approximately 2,100 jobs and approximately $2.9 billion in capital investment.”
Ideal candidates for Duke Energy’s Site Readiness Program are 75 acres or larger and served by the utility. A qualified site can be suited for a single, large industrial facility or data center, or a potential industrial park (multi-tenant site).