economic development was born a century or so ago so more customers would use
more electrons. Gradually it came to expand its mission to include plugging
into business networks and clusters. Its future may have more to do with the
ability to unplug - or at least to squeeze every electron for all it's worth.
year Site Selection salutes the top utility economic development teams in the
US. Chief among the criteria is analysis of corporate end-user project activity
in 2013 in those utilities' territories, based on data from Site Selection's
New Plant Database and from utility and community reports. Other criteria
include website tools and data; innovative programs and incentives for
business, including energy efficiency and renewable energy programs; and the
utility's own job-creating infrastructure and facility investment trends.
are some highlights from the 10 leaders in their field, presented in
1.4 million customers across the southern two-thirds of Alabama, the Southern
Company subsidiary's economic development team helped companies create 1,810
new jobs in 2013 with total capital investment closing in on $2 billion.
facility investors include BASF, Evonik, Commercial Jet, Knauf Insulation,
Gestamp, Royal Cup, Infitus Energy, Kennametal Tricon, Bolta Werke GmbH, Comau,
Atlas Roofing Corp. and Toyota Boshoku.
team has partnered with others in a recruitment effort for the tool-and-die
sector, part of a larger effort to fill supply chain gaps for automotive
companies in the Southeast. Similar efforts are under way for the chemical
sector, and for aerospace suppliers, as Airbus prepares to begin production in
Mobile in 2015.
utility's economic development team also has partnered with its GIS Department
to develop a comprehensive ESRI-based site identification tool to identify new
potential industrial property in Alabama Power territory.
American Electric Power
Economic & Business Development team, led by Mark James, serves a territory
comprising 5 million customers, 3,000 communities and 11 states. They continue
to pursue a data center site certification program that includes nine sites, as
well as a more general Quality Sites program that currently encompasses 11
candidate sites working toward certification by early 2015.
its territory overlaps with a number of active shale plays, AEP's team, led by
four oil & gas industry specialists, is also working with the utility's
field personnel to install substations faster, including AEP's "Station in
a Box," which comes pre-packaged and stored in a portable steel container
for shipment directly to a prepared site.
2013, AEP hosted 10 educational forums across its service territory attended by
more than 400 community partners and elected officials.
utility's national accounts team in April earned the Edison Electric
Institute's Outstanding National Key Accounts Customer Service Award. The AEP
National Accounts team manages 250 large, multi-site customers representing
more than 56,000 billing accounts.
2013 Duke's economic development team "successfully deployed an
Enterprise-wide economic development strategy across our six-state service
area," says Stuart N. Heishman, vice president, economic development,
business development and territorial strategies. "This included an
aggressive rollout of 'best practices' such as our nationally recognized Site
Readiness Program, our unique Business Recruitment & Site Location Team and
the introduction of a new Target Market Site Certification program."
calendar year 2013 saw the team helping to garner more than 100 project wins,
approximately $3 billion in corporate capital investment and the addition of
over 13,700 new jobs in its multi-state territory, where it serves 7.2 million
customers amid a population of 21 million. Investing firms included MetLife,
Herbalife and Syngenta in North Carolina; Nucor, JN Fibers and Michelin in
South Carolina; Tsuda Industries, GEICO and Alcoa in Indiana; Hutamaki and GE Aviation
in Ohio; and CapTel Service Specialists, Instrument Transformers and Pall Corp.
enacted a new economic development rider in Florida in October 2013, and funded
a Strategic Sites Inventory Program in the state in December 2013. In North
Carolina Duke successfully launched the Green Source Rider. Duke continues to
carry out its data center and food & beverage site certification programs
in the Carolinas.
New Orleans, La.
total of 9,221 new jobs and more than $20.7 billion in corporate facility
investment was all Entergy had to show for 2013, marked by dramatic growth in
the Gulf Coast economy.
Corporation has dramatically stepped up its economic development efforts with
the formation of a Corporate Business and Economic Development
Department," says Mark Kleehammer, vice president of business development.
Projects came from such companies as Big River Steel in Arkansas; G2X Energy in
Louisiana; OCI/Natgasoline in Texas and Feuer Powertrain in Mississippi. Texas
led the way with 3,183 jobs, while Louisiana led in corporate capital
investment activity with more than $17 billion planned.
major system-level initiatives include the team's Strategic Sites Initiative;
Entergy's Certified Sites Program; and a planned rebuild and redesign of the
Entergy Site Selection Center, the team's GIS building & site database. To
aid customer speed to market, Large Project Services - a team of project
managers with engineering backgrounds - was created.
Entergy team helped launch the Central East Texas Alliance, and a farmer
education program in Louisiana which Entergy plans to replicate in its other
three states in 2014.
and its 10 utility operating companies helped corporate end users invest nearly
$3 billion and create a planned 7,792 jobs across its service territory of 6
million customers amid a population of 13.4 million across six states. Projects
came from such investors as Amazon and Bayer in New Jersey; Volvo in Maryland;
BASF, Sherwin-Williams and H.J. Heinz in Ohio; and Albemarle and Procter &
Gamble in Pennsylvania.
utility has formed a Shale Task Force to help firms "better facilitate
future growth, explore mutual business opportunities, real estate transactions
and mutual planning of infrastructure enhancements to help electrify the new
in 2013 became a member of the Board of Directors for Choose New Jersey and
launched a plan to identify potential sites for data center operations. As part
of the Electric Security Plan in Ohio, FirstEnergy has pledged $3 million
toward providing assistance for economic development in its Ohio service
Florida Power & Light
Juno Beach, Fla.
team at FPL helped companies in its territory create 11,997 jobs with nearly
$15 billion in project investments, among 4.6 million customers in a 35-country
area of Florida populated by 13.3 million people. Headlining the list was the
headquarters move by Hertz to the Greater Fort Myers area - a project aided by
FPL's PoweringFlorida Resource Center.
economic development efforts blossomed in 2013," says the FPL team. As of
December 2013, 16 businesses bringing 1,187 new jobs qualified for FPL's
economic development rider (EDR) rate, which requires 25 jobs per 350 kWh of
new demand. EDR represented savings of nearly $200,000 to those growing
businesses. An additional 12 businesses had applied for EDR and would qualify
upon completion of construction projects adding over 3,300 new jobs. In late
2013, FPL petitioned the Florida Public Service Commission to authorize a
negotiated rate or Commercial/Industrial Service Rate (CISR), designed to
attract new, large power users to the state as part of a competitive location
project. It was authorized in early 2014.
a population of 10.2 million in 155 of its state's 159 companies, this Southern
Co. subsidiary continues to show the way in how to align with and enhance state
economic development goals. The utility's Community & Economic Development
team helped attract 18,532 new jobs and $2.7 billion in private-sector capital
investment last year via 78 projects from such companies as Alcon Labs in Johns
Creek; Engineered Floors in Dalton and Eton; Medient Studios in Effingham
County just north of Savannah; and India's Shrivallabh Pittie Group in
programs and services included an overhaul of the already impressive
SelectGeorgia Database; speeding up IT systems throughout the network as well
as at the showcase Georgia Resource Center in Atlanta; new and updated industry
reports and publications; a program to repurpose 15 coal- and oil-fired power
plants the utility is closing; ESRI-enabled "story maps"; and a new
"Select Success" seminar series to help prepare local economic
development teams to welcome and respond to prospects.
2013, the Georgia Resource Center hosted 537 events with more than 4,500
visitors, the highest level in the facility's 22-year history.
Southern Co. utility serving 10 counties across Northwest Florida helped
companies create 3,436 jobs last year with total facility investments of $386
million. Investing companies included Navy Federal Credit Union and CHCS
Services in Pensacola, FedEx Ground in Panama City, and West Fraser Mill in
Power in 2013 introduced a new job creation rate rider incentive, as well as a
reoccupancy incentive that pays cash incentives to business owners who are
willing to occupy existing vacant buildings - four customers already have moved
into previously unused space. The utility also hired a full-time researcher who
completed over 100 projects for community partners.
summer the company launched a new website to market 13 key industrial sites in
Northwest Florida that are going through the company's new site certification
program. "Having great sites is key to being competitive for new
jobs," said John Hutchinson, Gulf Power's director of Community and
a population of 3.5 million, this Kentucky utility helped companies create
10,303 jobs and invest nearly $2.6 billion in facility location or expansion
projects in 2013. Those are hefty chunks of the 12,598 jobs and overall $3.1
billion the state as a whole attracted last year. Growing companies in the
service territory included Toyota, Martinrea, Nestlé Prepared Foods, Asahi
Forge, Total Quality Logistics, CertainTeed, Johnson Controls and a number of
2013, LG&E and KU worked closely with the Kentucky Workforce Investment
Board as it ramped up the new Work Ready Community program. LG&E and KU
also are among several smart utilities partnered with the Location One
Information System (LOIS), a Web-based interface. Also like other smart
utilities, it is retiring a number of coal-fired power plants.
utilities continue to provide leadership to a number of state and local
organizations, councils and chambers. They also continue a long-term investment
strategy to support the development of industrial land in two Kentucky
communities, where the company has invested $380,140 in zero-interest loans.
in our alphabetical list, but first in so many ways that count, TVA's economic
development team continues to be a leader among leaders in such categories as
total new jobs it helped companies create (52,000) and total capital investment
associated with that job creation ($5 billion) across its huge seven-state
territory serving a population of 9 million people.
economic development team continues to focus on the target sectors of data
centers, advanced manufacturing, transportation manufacturing and food
processing. The team's Enterprise Data Center Site identification program
selected its first Enterprise Data Center Site, Tiger Jones Technology in
date, a total of 23 data center sites are designated as "ready for
development" across the TVA service area.
sites and buildings database, TVAsites.com, was completely redesigned and
re-launched in 2013.
2013, 13 Valley communities were part of the utility's new Valley Sustainable
Communities Program, and Community Development staff conducted a total of 69
training and development workshops throughout the TVA region.