When you see utilities in the news, it’s usually because their operating personnel are deploying to their territories…
When you see utilities in the news, it’s usually because their operations staff are deploying to their territory due to a weather calamity or going a long way to help other utilities when needed. Their economic development counterparts are there to help businesses meet their own unique challenges so they can grow and prosper no matter the weather or business climate.
Each year, Site Selection recognizes the best utilities in economic development based on business investment in end-user projects and the creation of affiliated jobs in the territories of these utilities during the calendar year. previous year, assessed on a cumulative and per capita basis. The citations that follow appear in the designated U.S. regions where these utilities are headquartered and contain information drawn from the utilities’ responses to Site Selection’s annual questionnaire as well as our own research.
These organizations stand out among the country’s 3,300 utilities (including 900 electricity cooperatives). If you’re running a business that’s planning to expand, create projects, or relocate, you can’t afford not to tap into these top performers and their peers.
PECO, an Exelon company
Investment in company facilities: $3.1 billion
Jobs created: 4,480
Population & Territory: 4 million in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties in southeastern Pennsylvania
Strong points: Job creation and investment are both on the rise in the CEEC territory. PECO continues to support Greater Philadelphia’s growing life sciences industry, evolving warehouse/distribution center network, burgeoning data center industry and numerous multi-family development projects, says Phillip T Eastman, senior director of economic and business development for Jr. PECO. “One of the most exciting economic development projects we have had the opportunity to support this year has come to us through Jacobs Engineering, which is designing the 500,000 square foot Gene Therapy Innovation Center at Spark Therapeutics in West Philadelphia’s college district,” he said. said. More than 45 cell and gene therapy development companies have been established in the Philadelphia area. “PECO Economic Development is working with internal resources to meet the energy needs of these laboratory and bio-manufacturing buildings.” In addition to providing support for major logistics projects such as NorthPoint Development’s redevelopment of an 1,800-acre former U.S. steel complex into 15 million square feet of warehousing/distribution space known as Keystone Trade Center, the PECO team supported passage of the PA law. 25 of 2021, which established the Computer Data Center Sales and Use Tax Exemption Program. As of January 2022, data center equipment was exempt from state sales and use tax, which Eastman says continues to drive requests for large data center site selections with huge electrical load requirements.
Investment in company facilities: $2.1 billion
Jobs created: 4,444
Population & Territory: 2 million in parts of Iowa and Wisconsin
Strong points: Winning the Top Utility award for the fourth consecutive year, the Alliant team in 2021 cultivated a job creation total twice as high as in 2020, and the $2.1 billion invested by employers represents 2.3 times the total invested in 2020. The Alliant team has worked with , regional and state economic development partners to complete 58 industry-winning projects in the more than 1,300 communities they serve. “Food processing and ingredients accounted for 10 of those projects, and industrial biotechnology accounted for six,” says Mark Seckman, senior director of economic development, quoting one satisfied employer: “Working with Alliant Energy has been like a breath of fresh air. 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 really good job of listening and understanding what we needed to be successful.” The utility added to its Alliant Energy Growth Sites initiative to offer certified industrial land in both states by launching the Wisconsin Speculative Building Assistance Program, a financial program to help developers build speculative industrial space. in smaller markets. Meanwhile, Alliant is continuing its Clean Energy for Energy Transition program and plans to donate and help plant a tree for each of its customers as part of its One Million Trees initiative.
LG&E and KU Energy LLC
Investment in company facilities: $8 billion
Jobs created: 11,752
Population & Territory: Louisville Gas & Electric, Kentucky Utilities Company and Old Dominion Power Company serve 3.4 million people in 16 counties in Kentucky, 77 counties in Kentucky and five counties in Virginia, respectively.
Strong points: Total employment doubled and total investment tripled as LG&E/KU last made the top utility honor roll two years ago. The economic development team’s efforts helped Kentucky break all-time records for new jobs and investment announced in 2021. “Nearly 12,000 new jobs and $8 billion in new capital investment have been announced in our service territories, which represent approximately 72 percent of the statewide total investment and 66 percent of announced new jobs,” says John Bevington, director of business and economic development. “The culmination of these announcements was the monumental announcement of BlueOvalSK Battery Park in Glendale/Hardin County In 2021, the amalgamation of programs and tools into a unifying identity known as Opportunity KY began supporting the vision of business to strengthen economic vitality and quality of life. To support these efforts, LG&E and KU have launched opportunyky.com to help site selectors and prospects assess the the communities. In addition, the company made improvements to the economic development section of its corporate website. To support community planning and real estate product development, LG&E and KU’s Opportunity KY Grant were created to help communities proactively address land and building shortages. LG&E and KU are also taking steps to help our communities plan and invest through an ongoing site identification process. Opportunity KY Credit, also known as Economic Development Rider (EDR), is offered to industrial clients to encourage job creation and capital investment. It offers a 5-year incentive on the customer’s electricity bill. In 2021, Opportunity KY Credit helped seven businesses with $1.4 million in credits.
Touchstone Energy Cooperatives of Kentucky
Investment in company facilities: $2.3 billion
Jobs created: 2,596
Population & Territory: 1.1 million in 87 Kentucky counties served by 17 member co-ops
Strong points: “In 2021, we received the first Project With A Purpose award from the Site Selectors Guild for the Diageo Lebanon Distillery project which produces the world’s first carbon neutral bourbon with 100% renewable energy provided by our cooperatives”, says Brad Thomas , director. for the economic development of the Touchstone energy cooperatives of Kentucky. “Our co-ops also received the Gold Award from the International Economic Development Council for our one-of-a-kind CoopAPaLooza economic development event held in Frankfort, Kentucky.” A new service the team is offering projects at no cost is the ability to showcase a potential manufacturing facility at sites where they have previously flown drones for PowerVision videos. Sites are captured by lidar scanning from drone flights, then the scanned site is uploaded into a CAD system. “We can then take the proposed building layout and lay it out on site to create drawings or videos showcasing the future installation,” says Thomas. “The service has been crucial in reducing lead times and ensuring that projects are localized in the industrial parks we serve.”