By the BF Staff
From the January/February 2023 Issue
Utility providers in regions across the United States offer programs, incentives, and credits to businesses looking to expand and relocate to their area, and this is one of the important factors that play into site selection decisions.
An area’s utility can be the deciding factor when businesses are relocating and expanding. Utilities provide much more than electricity, gas, and water to a new business. The utility companies featured here are examples of those that go above and beyond, not only offering exceptional energy services but also collaborating with companies to improve economic development across the nation. For instance, utilities with the best innovative programs help businesses choose the best site based on workforce analytics and sustainability efforts. The selected community also benefits from this partnership with additional jobs, improved infrastructure, and, more often now, cleaner energy.
The Top Utilities 2023 list covers an assortment of local players, multistate entities, and membership organizations. These utility companies are some of the most successful offering innovative programs and expert assistance to attract businesses that need to build a warehouse, break ground on a factory, or add a headquarters campus.
Here (in alphabetical order) are the Top Utilities for 2023:
Alliant Energy is committed to putting the communities it serves at the heart of everything they do and extends to improving the natural environment for future generations. The Clean Energy Blueprint is an economic catalyst accelerating the utility’s transition to renewable energy and sustainability. In Iowa, the utility plan to add 400 megawatts of solar energy generation and 75 megawatts of battery energy storage. Another 414 megawatts of solar is planned in Wisconsin.
In 2022, Alliant Energy and Iowa State University announced a 900-kilowatt solar farm that will explore how farmland can be used for both renewable energy and crop production. The collaborative solar farm will be on university land and represents customers embracing renewable energy opportunities.
“This new collaboration is the latest in our longstanding partnership with Alliant Energy to prepare our communities, state, and nation for the future of energy and power,” said Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen. “The public-private partnership represented in the new solar farm will be a significant step in making progress on our mutual renewable energy and sustainability goals.”
In Iowa, Alliant Energy offers an electric rate discount to potentially and positively affect a prospective new customer or current customer’s decision to increase consumption of the electric system. This flexible discount on demanded electricity charges is for the first five years of operation.
VERBIO took advantage of this rate to build the first industrial-scale renewable natural gas facility in North America using agricultural residues as its feedstock in Nevada, IA.
“Working with Alliant Energy has been like a breath of fresh air for us,” said Greg Northrop, President of VERBIO NA Holdings Corporation. “When we started talking about what we needed to do, Alliant Energy did a very good job of listening and understanding what we needed to be successful.”
Due to record low industrial vacancy rates across the United States, the utility has developed a Speculative Building Assistance Program in Wisconsin. This financial program aims to help developers build speculative industrial space in the smaller markets it serves. It will also ensure industrial square footage is available for continued economic growth. This program builds on the Alliant Energy Growth Sites initiative, which offers certified industrial land across Iowa and Wisconsin.
Ameren Corporation (AEE), is St. Louis-based, Fortune 500 company that powers the quality of life for millions of people throughout Illinois and Missouri. Ameren Illinois provides electric distribution and transmission service, as well as natural gas distribution service, while Ameren Missouri provides vertically integrated electric service, with generating capacity of over 10,200 megawatts and natural gas distribution service. Combined, the utility serves 2.4 million electric and more than 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000 square-mile area. We’re the largest electric utility in Missouri and the second largest in Illinois and is among the nation’s largest investor-owned electric or gas utility.
IL – (Non-Residential Developer Agreement) To encourage growth within Illinois-served communities, developers are now eligible to receive a refund on the cost to extend electric and natural gas infrastructure to their project. As part of the program, when new businesses locate within a development, credits are issued back to offset initial infrastructure costs.
MO – (EDI) Eligible businesses can take advantage of competitive economic development energy incentive program with up to 10 years of benefit. As a two-tier program, a wide range of businesses can qualify for energy-based rate discounts with long-term, predictable cost savings on reliable, and affordable and clean power.
Across Illinois, new state-of-the-art substations are providing better reliability and adding flexibility for the expanding energy needs of communities. The company has implemented hundreds of projects, added new technology, and strengthened poles, wires, and distribution equipment. As a result, reliability has improved by an average of 22% and the duration of an outage has been reduced by 16% since 2012.
In the first three years of implementation, Ameren Missouri completed more than 2,000 projects across a territory that spans 24,000 square miles. The utility’s $8.4 billion plan for 2022 to 2026 will further its efforts to create a stronger, smarter, cleaner, more resilient, and secure electric grid.
In Pontoon Beach, IL, Northpoint Development was able to utilize Ameren Illinois’s Non-Residential Developer Agreement to extend natural gas service to their industrial park. The development when complete will have 10 industrial buildings and is currently home to Amazon and just announced Tesla will be occupying new space currently under construction.
Ameren Missouri took a leading role in bringing a unique industry to the state. When Gateway Studios and Production Services opens in 2023, the $111 million 32-acre facility will provide turnkey production service solutions for live music touring, motion picture/television, and corporate events. Ameren Missouri assisted with engineering services, an economic development incentive, and planning for energy efficiency.
CenterPoint Energy, Inc. is the sole investor-owned electric and gas utility based in Houston, TX. The company provides energy to over seven million customers not only in Texas, but also in Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, and Ohio. As of Sept. 30, 2022, the company owned approximately $35 billion in assets. With over 8,000 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its affiliated companies have been in business for more than 150 years.
The company provides natural gas, electric transmission and distribution, mobile energy solutions, pole attachments, surveying and right-of-way, and telecommunications delivery services to millions of customers across six states.
CenterPoint Energy in Minnesota has registered its Minneapolis green hydrogen facility on the M-RETS Renewable Thermal Tracking System to track renewable thermal certificates (RTCs). RTCs represent environmental attributes linked with renewable natural gas and other renewable thermal commodities, including green hydrogen. The facility, which began operations in 2022, is the first-ever green hydrogen facility to register with a tracking system in North America and is receiving the nation’s first RTCs issued for green hydrogen.
In Texas, CenterPoint has started its Resilient Now program. This a first-of-its-kind collaborative framework—between the utility and the City of Houston—that will develop a Master Energy Plan to improve power resilience across the region. Through this partnership, CenterPoint Energy will optimize infrastructure investments and advance new energy solutions. Not only is the program focusing on infrastructure, but it will also address power quality and reliability, invest in new sources of energy, and support critical infrastructure improvements.
CenterPoint’s 138 kV Mill Creek Substation Project was proposed to serve the new energy load in the Tomball, Magnolia, and The Woodlands area. The significant distribution load increase this area is experiencing is due to rapid population growth that followed the addition of residents, schools, subdivisions, retail centers, commercial buildings, and healthcare facilities. An approximate 24% load growth between 2022 and 2031 is predicted for the area. The new transmission line in partnership with the Mill Creek Distribution substation will supply part of this increase in distribution load.
The company expects 2023 to be a pivotal year, with the continued execution of the long-term growth strategy and focus on core utility businesses. CenterPoint’s main priority is to invest in the safety, reliability, and resiliency of electric and natural gas systems while also advancing toward a cleaner energy future.
A multi-year Business Facilities editor’s pick in Top Utilities, Consumers Energy continues to take bold steps in its deliberate transition to being coal free by 2025.
Key 2022 wins for the nation’s fourth largest energy provider on its path to a clean energy transformation, include:
- New competitive economic development energy rate,
- Working to bring a battery manufacturing facility to Michigan that will generate hundreds of new jobs and help solidify the Great Lakes State and Midwest as the new EV battery belt, and
- Continued commitment to reliability by modernizing Consumers Energy’s electric distribution system to safely supply affordable power to Michigan communities.
In 2022, leaders in automotive, advanced manufacturing, agriculture, and other industries announced plans to invest more than $4.28 billion and create nearly 5,600 jobs in Consumers Energy’s service territory.
“Consumers Energy is committed to ensuring Michigan’s prosperity by helping manufacturing companies to adapt, grow, and thrive,” said Brian Rich, Chief Customer Officer at Consumers Energy.
Innovative Rate Attracts Businesses. The innovative rate has attracted new business to Michigan and encouraged existing businesses to expand their operations in the company’s service territory. Targeted toward very large businesses with 35 MW or more of new electric load, the economic development rate is especially well suited to attract energy-intensive activities, such as electric vehicle supply chain or semiconductor manufacturing opportunities to the state.
The new rate complies with Michigan’s cost-based rate requirements and means existing customers won’t pay more to attract new businesses to Michigan.
Charging Forward in Economic Development. Energy is far from the only factor in site selection decisions, but it’s uniquely crucial to battery manufacturers. Gotion Inc. needed a partner that could power its plants and facilities—and source 100% of that power from renewable sources.
Enter Consumers Energy. Together with electric transmission company ITC, the energy provider will extend a high-voltage line to the project line, upgrade existing low-voltage lines, replace poles, and build a new substation dedicated to Gotion’s manufacturing location.
This partnership led to a plan being put into motion that by 2031 Gotion is expected to bring 2,350 new jobs to two 550,000-square-foot production plants.
Ferris State University is a major benefactor of Gotion’s economic development plan. The university will help source talent to fill several plant roles.
“It’s not everyday a company like Gotion comes into town to say, ‘We want to invest in your community. We want to invest in your people. We want to invest in what the future is,’” said Dr. Bill Pink, President of Ferris State University.
Ensuring Reliability. Consumers Energy is working with businesses such as Gotion around the state to ensure their reliable energy future.
The energy provider is replacing poles and wires and upgrading substations and key equipment to strengthen the network that keeps power flowing to homes and businesses every day.
The goal is simple: fewer, shorter, and less frequent power outages for customers. The plan is to reduce the average length of time customers lack power by nearly 15% from 2020 to 2025.
Dominion Energy is committed to its role as a significant player in local, regional, and state economic development across the 13 states where the company operates. Dominion Energy’s economic development team is developing an even more comprehensive and proactive strategy that will benefit the company’s more than seven million electric and natural gas customers.
“Our world is in the midst of a clean energy transition that will make our planet more sustainable for future generations,” said Felicia Howard, Vice President of Economic Development Strategy for Dominion Energy. “This transition brings great opportunity for innovators with solutions to meet customers growing need to go green. Dominion Energy is proud to partner with these innovators to bring greater opportunity to the communities that we serve.”
Last year, the utility’s strong focus on economic development helped secure wins in data center, advanced manufacturing, food and beverage, service, and indoor agriculture projects. These ventures will support nearly 24,000 new jobs and $14.5 billion in private-sector investment across the company’s footprint.
The Triangle area of North Carolina continued to experience tremendous manufacturing growth in the life science, pharma, automotive, and semiconductor markets. This was highlighted in Chatham County where the two largest projects in North Carolina history were announced; the $4 billion, 7,500-job VinFast Automotive electric vehicle manufacturing facility and the $5 billion 1,800-job Wolfspeed semiconductor manufacturing facility.
Dominion Energy is committed to providing safe, reliable, affordable, and increasingly clean energy to its customers and achieving net zero carbon dioxide and methane emissions from its power generation and gas infrastructure operations nationwide by 2050. In addition, our commitment to clean energy will continue to foster sustainable economic development across the communities it serves.
ElectriCities of North Carolina
ElectriCities of North Carolina is the not-for-profit membership organization for municipally owned electric utilities—also known as public power providers—in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. ElectriCities provides legislative, technical, communications, economic development, and other expertise to its 90-plus members. The organization helps recruit companies to the region through several siting programs, grants, and other resources, and by educating about the benefits of locating in a public power community.
ElectriCities’ economic development team is the go-to for members who want to know the feasibility and economic impact of economic development projects. Using a variety of data platforms and proprietary programs, the team has recently helped members analyze the feasibility of developing a hotel and sports complex. Other members have tapped the team to determine the economic impact of transforming former industrial facilities into tech innovation hubs.
ElectriCities’ is working with state and local partners to clean up and redevelop an environmentally contaminated industrial site in its member communities. Once home to one of North Carolina’s largest furniture manufacturing facilities, the site is on its way to becoming one of the premier rail industrial sites in the state.
Over the past year, ElectriCities worked with the Town of Lincolnton and Lincoln Economic Development Association to redevelop an abandoned textile mill and attract Hodges International, a large cut and sew operation that manufactures a variety of home goods. ElectriCities worked with local partners on power delivery issues and to develop a slate of incentives Hodges would find appealing. ElectriCities’ economic development team often plays a key role in helping North Carolina public power communities attract and grow businesses.
Entergy, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in New Orleans, provides power to three million customers across Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Entergy is creating a cleaner, more resilient energy future with its diverse power generation portfolio, including increasingly carbon-free energy sources. Entergy’s generation fleet is one of the cleanest large-scale generation fleets in the United States with more than 24,000 megawatts of generating capacity, including approximately 5,000 megawatts of nuclear power. The company is committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and reaching 50% carbon-free power generation capacity by 2030.
Entergy also serves some of the largest and most power-intensive industries in the United States. With roots in the Gulf South region for more than a century, Entergy is a recognized leader in corporate citizenship, delivering more than $100 million in economic benefits to local communities through philanthropy and advocacy efforts annually for the last several years. The utility’s approximately 12,000 employees are dedicated to powering life today and for future generations.
Entergy’s Business Development team works with an extensive network of government agencies, businesses, and communities to help companies find properties and available incentives best suited to meet their needs. Each state in the Entergy Region offers strong financial incentive packages and advantageous corporate tax environments. From white-glove service and deep connections with key players to a state-of-the-art site locator tool, Entergy serves as a one-stop shop for businesses looking to relocate or expand their operations.
Entergy is adapting to meet changing needs and addressing the threat of severe weather that has been impacting its region with increased strength and greater frequency. Th utility is evaluating a range of options to accelerate investment for added resilience to the grid and are having conversations with regulators and other stakeholders to help make its communities more resilient. Building upon previous investments in the grid like recently completing the longest underground project in company history in its coastal communities and the New Orleans Solar Station, Entergy Louisiana and Entergy New Orleans have both made grid hardening and resilience filings with their regulators for a combined $16.5 billion worth of projects to add resilience to the grid.
In February 2022, U.S. Steel announced it was building a next-generation, highly sustainable, and technologically advanced steel mill in Osceola, AR, a project worth $3 billion. Entergy Arkansas has a long-standing relationship with the steel company, partnering with them in 2015 to provide a special rate contract on electricity and construction of $73 million in substation and transmission lines to help facilitate development of Big River Steel. In addition to providing power to the existing Big River Steel, Entergy Arkansas plans to provide an incremental 550 megawatts to help power the new facility. The utility’s teams worked closely to bring this development that’s expected to create 900 jobs. The utility knows companies like U.S. Steel have interim and long-term emissions reduction goals. Entergy is well-positioned to provide abundant amounts of clean, reliable, resilient, and affordable power to achieve those goals.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability, and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving over six million customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland, and New York. The company’s transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.
FirstEnergy’s Economic Development Department had a busy year in 2022. Pat Kelly, the Director of Economic Development, reports over $7 billion was raised for economic development projects through direct capital investment and by third-party traded sector companies. Kelly, who also serves as the President of the Board for the Utility Economic Development Association, indicates that FirstEnergy, along with many of his peer utilities are witnessing a dramatic increase in the number of energy-intensive projects.
Currently, FirstEnergy’s transmission operations include approximately 24,000 miles of lines and two regional transmission operation centers. The program Energizing the Future involves upgrading many of the existing transmission facilities to reinforce the power grid and help prevent or reduce the duration of customer outages. The company is also expanding their transmission facilities with a new planned facility in Lorain County, OH.
A subsidiary of First Energy, Potomac Edison completed a battery energy storage plant in Frederick County, MD. The $1.4 million facility has the capacity to provide 80% charge for most electric cars in under an hour. In addition to this new energy plant, Ohio was also happy to announce the $760 million EV plant that will build drive units for electric trucks. The facility is the automaker’s first U.S. powertrain facility repurposed for EV-related production. Ford also announced a $1.5 billion investment, which includes 1,800 new jobs, in Lorain County, OH. This investment is in addition to the $100 million investment in the Lima Engine Plant and Sharonville Transmission Plant.
With a data-driven approach, First Energy is building a customer experience that will help them explore renewable energy choices, adopt electric vehicles, manage energy use, report outages, and navigate payment assistance programs. With a commitment to transparency, compliance and ethics, and an unwavering commitment to its customers, FirstEnergy strives to prove itself to be an industry leader in heading toward a low-carbon future.
The utility company controls approximately 3,569 megawatts from regulated scrubbed coal and hydro facilities in West Virginia and Virginia.
As America’s largest electric utility, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) serves more customers and sells more power than any other utility, providing clean, affordable, reliable electricity to nearly 12 million people. In 2022, FPL won the ReliabilityOne National Reliability Award for the seventh time in the last eight years.
In June 2022, NextEra Energy—parent company of FPL—announced Real Zero, the most ambitious carbon emissions reduction goal set by an energy producer, committing to eliminating carbon emissions from its operations by no later than 2045. Through Real Zero, the company will lead the decarbonization of the U.S. economy—by working to become the preferred partner for customers in every industry, who share the vision of a sustainable, carbon-free future.
Over the last decade, FPL’s office of economic development—PoweringFlorida—has worked with its statewide partners to bring nearly 250 companies and more than 110,000 jobs to the state. The company is working to attract more talent to Florida through its new “WonderFL” campaign. WonderFL.com features statewide and regional information promoting the unique work-life balance, employment opportunities, and quality of life found across Florida.
Businesses can work with PoweringFlorida to learn how Real Zero can help them reach ESG goals, or to find out information on location, talent, and rate programs.
Georgia Power is committed to supplying clean, safe, reliable, and affordable energy to 2.7 million customers across Georgia. Georgia Power’s focus on providing excellent customer service includes many touchpoints—in-person, via phone, online, customizable rate plans, and payment options.
As dedicated corporate citizens, Georgia Power has been helping hometowns across the state of Georgia grow and prosper through economic development for almost a century. The utility’s experienced business recruitment and community development teams, highly skilled engineers, and nationally recognized research analysts support its statewide partners and businesses at every stage of growth.
This collaborative approach has helped Georgia remain a top state for business and set new records for growth in 2022.
Georgia Power launched Equity Through Education early in 2022 with a three-year grant total of $9 million invested into four regions/school systems across the state. The grant will increase minority students’ access to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), early learning programs, and work-based learning and internship opportunities. The program will provide new educational opportunities to students and support the broader education needs of families.
Georgia Power has implemented several programs that provide energy savings for commercial customers constructing new facilities or improving existing buildings. Georgia Power offers rebates through the Commercial Energy Efficiency Program (formerly known as the Prescriptive and Custom Savings Programs) to help customers make energy-efficient upgrades such as lighting, heating and cooling equipment, and energy management systems more affordable. Also, to help small business customers make smart energy decisions, the Small Commercial Direct Install (SCDI) Program offers free energy assessments to qualifying customers and covers up to 70% of the cost of LED lighting upgrades which leads to energy savings.
In addition to the programs offered by Georgia Power, the State of Georgia offers a variety of programs and statutory incentives that help new and existing businesses thrive, including Georgia Tax Credits for Quality Jobs, Mega Projects, Research and Development, Investment, and more.
In 2022, the KPMG Survey of Sustainability Reporting shared that 96% of the world’s largest companies now report on sustainability or environmental social governance matters. Georgia Power is meeting the industry’s demand for cleaner energy by investing in its diverse portfolio of renewable energy sources, including nuclear.
Georgia Power is constructing the nation’s first new nuclear units in more than 30 years at Plant Vogtle in Waynesboro, GA. The new Vogtle units will be clean energy sources that produce zero air pollution, and further the goal of Georgia Power’s parent company, Southern Company, to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. We also have an interim target to achieve 50% GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions reduction by 2030 relative to 2007 levels. That goal has already been reached well ahead of schedule.
Georgia Power worked with the state and local communities to support a record-setting year in economic development. Announcements spanned across diverse industries and regions, creating 45,000+ new jobs, and over $27 billion in commercial investment. Several of the significant announcements have been surrounding the electric transportation ecosystem and Georgia’s focus on renewable energy and sustainability.
Georgia anchored itself as a leader in electric transportation with location announcements from SK Battery and Rivian and made headlines again early in 2022. In May, Hyundai Motor Group announced plans to build its first electric vehicle smart facility on Georgia’s coast, creating approximately 8,100 jobs and $5.5B in investment.
The demand for electric vehicles is driving growth across other target industries, including advanced materials and recycling. As a result of announcements like Hyundai, companies like Aurubis are accelerating their investments in Georgia.
With roots dating to the 1940s, Hoosier Energy has been powering regions of Indiana and Illinois for over 70 years. Though the Hoosier Energy of today doesn’t closely resemble its early self, the cooperative’s mission has remained consistent: providing affordable, reliable power to rural and underserved regions of Indiana and Illinois. Throughout Hoosier Energy’s history, its footprint has expanded to reach hundreds of thousands of businesses, homes, and farms.
Today, Hoosier Energy serves 18 member-owner electric cooperatives, delivering power through a 1,700-mile transmission network across a 15,000-square-mile area. We draw power from a diverse range of resources and have made significant strides over the last decade to increase renewable energy production and distribution.
Unlike many major electric utilities, this organization is not directed by a group of investors. Everything the utility does is on behalf of its members. It is not profit-driven; it is member-driven. The decisions are guided by the businesses, families, and farmers it serves, true to the cooperative model. It closely operates according to the seven cooperative principles and values, which make up the framework of this organization.
As a nonprofit, cooperative, Hoosier Energy has more flexibility to offer customized rate incentives and to complete projects faster. Hoosier Energy’s economic development team leverages decades of experience to meet the individual needs of corporate real estate decision-makers.
Hoosier Energy offers various economic development programs and incentives ranging from market-based rates and economic development rider (EDR) rate discounts to renewable energy programs to help businesses meet their carbon reduction goals.
Most recently, Hoosier Energy launched its Cooperative Power Management Program (CPMP) offering market value to participants by incorporating load curtailment and access to Distributed Energy Resource opportunities.
Hoosier Energy is one of the first electric cooperatives to incorporate an environmental, social, and governance (ESG) framework into all elements of operations and business strategy.
Hoosier Energy recognizes the benefits of ESG as an opportunity to take a proactive and holistic look at how the utility does what it does, for the benefit of its membership. As a risk mitigation tool, Hoosier’s ESG framework and functional approach enable us to position the organization to more effectively navigate the energy transition, better prepare internal resources to support ongoing member needs, shifting customer expectations, and the complex operating landscape within which the company functions.
Bunge, a global leader in agribusiness, announced plans to invest approximately $550 million in a new, fully integrated state-of-the-art soybean processing facility in Morristown, IN. The plant will be served by RushShelby Energy, a member-owner of Hoosier Energy.
Bunge benefitted from RushShelby Energy and Hoosier Energy’s combined economic development efforts including technical guidance, engineering infrastructure assistance, and a discounted economic development rate. Construction is expected to start in the first quarter of 2023, with completion by mid-2025. The project will create approximately 70 full-time jobs in central Indiana.
National Grid is an electricity, natural gas, and clean energy delivery company serving more than 20 million people with electricity and natural gas through our networks in New York and Massachusetts.
National Grid is transforming electricity and natural gas networks with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions to meet the goal of eliminating fossils in the systems by 2050. The utility is committed to playing a leading role in enabling and accelerating the transition to a clean energy future while ensuring all customers and communities continue to have affordable and reliable options to heat their homes and run their businesses.
“When it comes to meeting the threat of climate change, there is no silver bullet. That’s why National Grid is taking a hybrid approach to decarbonizing our energy system that incorporates solar, wind, and fossil-free fuels like green hydrogen,” said Rudy Wynter, National Grid’s New York President. “By using all the clean energy options available, we can meet New York’s climate change goals and ensure reliable, affordable service.”
As part of the clean energy transition, National Grid is also proud of our role in helping Massachusetts and New York consistently rank at or near the top nationally in energy efficiency programs, electric vehicles on roads, solar installations, planned offshore wind, and environmental stewardship. In addition to this track record of success, the states in which the utility operates have enacted some of the most progressive climate laws in the country, establishing future requirements for net zero emissions across their economies.
National Grid was a key member of the federal, state, and local economic development teams behind the attraction of Micron Technology’s proposed $100 billion semiconductor facility to upstate New York, which promises to create 50,000 direct and indirect jobs over 20 years. In addition to offering extremely robust, reliable, and resilient utility infrastructure at the site, National Grid will provide economic development grants to offset a portion of Micron’s electric and gas infrastructure upgrade costs, as well as discounts on electricity and gas delivery to lower Micron’s operating costs for a 20-year period.
Since 1995, National Grid and its predecessor Niagara Mohawk, have played a leadership role in attracting the semiconductor industry to New York State by funding the development of shovel-ready sites specifically designed to attract the industry and the promotion of those locations via the NY Loves Nanotech program and other marketing and sales initiatives.
At National Grid they believe in believe achieving a fossil-free future and addressing climate change is not just a shared responsibility, but one where we must lead. The utility is undertaking a bold initiative that will set a new climate standard for energy companies across America.
Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s state-owned electric and water utility. Serving over 200,000 retail customers and over two million people throughout South Carolina, Santee Cooper is the state’s largest power provider and one of the nation’s largest public power utilities. For more than 80 years, it’s been Santee Cooper’s mission to provide reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible power and improve the quality of life for all the state’s residents. As part of this mission, Santee Cooper works with the electric cooperatives, state commerce department, and local governments to power industry in the state by helping create a prosperous environment for businesses to build, relocate, and expand.
Santee Cooper offers several economic development programs and incentives to help local governments or electric cooperatives attract businesses to the state, including the Santee Cooper Economic Development Loan Program, the Santee Cooper Rural Economic Development Fund, and Santee Cooper Economic Development Investment Fund Grants—all aimed at making it easier and more enticing for companies to do business here.
Santee Cooper was instrumental in the development of Camp Hall, a next-generation commerce park in Berkeley County. Santee Cooper purchased a nearly 7,000-acre tract of land and helped facilitate a successful wetlands mitigation plan in collaboration with the state’s environmental groups. Camp Hall has direct access to I-26 and is conveniently located 30 minutes from the Port of Charleston—streamlining transportation and helping businesses run smoothly. Camp Hall is committed to the environment and works to maintain the natural habitats of South Carolina through practices such as incorporating bioswales in stormwater treatment, replacing non-native species with native species, and creating pollinator habitats.
Volvo Car USA and Redwood Materials are two companies located at Camp Hall that have benefitted from Santee Cooper and South Carolina’s business programs and incentives. In 2015, Volvo selected Camp Hall for its first-ever U.S. manufacturing plant. Through Edisto Electric Cooperative, Santee Cooper continues to offer low-cost, reliable electricity that powers the plant daily. In December 2022, Redwood Materials announced its decision to establish operations at Camp Hall with a historic $3.5 billion capital investment. Through Berkeley Electric Cooperative, Santee Cooper will be the ultimate source of electricity for the new Redwood Materials campus. Santee Cooper also helps deliver clean, safe water to the sites from its Lake Moultrie water treatment plant.
For more than 15 years, Xcel Energy has held a top spot as a national leader in clean power. The company serves 3.7 million electricity and 2.1 million natural gas customers, and powers thousands of communities across parts of eight Midwestern and Western states.
Growth in many of the states Xcel Energy, particularly Colorado, has highlighted the importance of enhancing economic development. For many businesses, energy is a top consideration in where they locate—it may be their largest expense or the focus of their sustainability goals.
Last year was full of economic development for Xcel Energy. A key project in Colorado was PepsiCo’s acquisition of 152 acres of land at the Denver High Point development area where they will build a state-of-the-art, 1.2 million-square-foot manufacturing facility. Set to open this year, the new facility will be the largest, most sustainable PepsiCo Beverages North America plant in the U.S. and create 250 new jobs.
Xcel Energy’s Certified Site Program helps communities attract capital investment and create new, high-paying jobs. The program involves a robust and credible certification protocol and has resulted in a broad inventory of sites and buildings throughout the service area. In addition, through Xcel Energy’s economic development rate in Colorado, eligible companies like PepsiCo can receive an electric rate discount for up to 10 years. Similar rate programs in Minnesota and Wisconsin offer immediate electric demand rate reductions, offset upfront costs, or waive distribution demand changes.
“Xcel Energy’s Corporate Economic Development team is proud to partner with our communities to attract key industries for capital investment and job creation,” said Tom Bailey, Senior Director of Corporate Economic Development. “Our shared success depends on collaboration and sharing of data to help businesses complete key market decisions. Our team continues to assist our partners with strategic land and contract service offerings, which help differentiate and elevate our communities.”