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Duke Energy Florida

Preparing the Region for Capital Investment

Services:
Site Readiness Study

Location:
Florida

THE DRIVER

Developing Investment-Ready Site Product

THE OPPORTUNITY

Since the rapid decline of the textile industry in the southeastern United States, Duke Energy, and its subsidiary Duke Energy Florida, have made investment readiness a priority. Having experienced the sudden loss of hundreds of large-load power users in the early 2000s, the utility provider knew it needed to take a leadership role in helping communities throughout its service territory identify, assess and improve sites for economic development. Since then, they’ve realized that even in times of economic stability, there is a strong competitive advantage to having an ample inventory of good industrial sites.

THE NEED

As part of its ongoing effort to help economic development organizations find and prepare potential sites, Duke Energy Florida initiated a comprehensive site readiness program in Florida in 2013. The goals they set forth were to:

  • Identify, assess, improve, and increase awareness of industrial sites in the Duke Florida service territory that were best suited for new manufacturing facilities in targeted growth industries. ​
  • Increase the inventory of good industrial sites throughout the territories that Duke Florida serves.​
  • Advance the state of readiness of those sites. ​
  • Help local economic development organizations find and prepare potential sites. ​
  • Educate local economic development organizations on what it takes to ready their real estate product and be more competitive for project recruitment.

THE SOLUTION

Each year, several communities across Duke Florida’s service territory are invited to participate in this annual Site Readiness program. Duke partners with site selection professionals to analyze not just sites, but also the preparedness of each community and its stakeholders to meet the requirements of a successful site selection process. While the program is rigorous, it provides communities the opportunity to practice the investment attraction process while readying their sites for future investment. The program includes three key phases:

  1. Inventory Data, which includes completion of a full RFI to bring community stakeholders together and identify all known information about a site. The community also works with Duke to identify target industries best suited to the site and community.
  2. Site Visits to dig beyond the RFI and allow the community to practice their preparedness for this stage of a prospective investment project. Information collected by Duke and the site selection consultant through the RFI and site visit is used to complete a suite of site readiness and competitiveness analyses.
  3. Community Presentations bring all stakeholders together to discuss actionable recommendations identified by site analyses that are designed to enhance competitiveness and site readiness.

THE RESULTS

Since 2013, Duke Energy Florida has evaluated 23 sites and secured 3 project wins. Corporate-wide, Duke Energy has evaluated over 250 sites throughout its service territories, announced 41 projects generating 9,258 new jobs, representing more than $7.6B in capital investment.

THE IMPACT

The ongoing success of Duke’s Site Readiness Program is making a positive multigenerational impact on the communities it serves. As local economic developers and community leaders in Florida begin to prepare their sites for target industry investment, there is full confidence that project announcements will follow due to the thorough analysis and ardent support of everyone involved.

“By continually investing in site readiness assessments, Duke Energy has generated over $7.6 billion in capital investment throughout its service territory. The return on investment has been extraordinary, not just in terms of dollar value but with stakeholder alignment at all levels.” 

Marc Hoenstine, CecD
Director, Economic Development – Florida
Duke Energy