Duke Energy Economic Development Team Honored by Site Selection Magazine for 14 Years Straight

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

For the 14th consecutive year, Duke Energy has been named to Site Selection magazine's annual list of "Top Utilities in Economic Development."

In the magazine's September edition, it credits Duke Energy's economic development team and its successful collaboration with state and local partners for delivering more than $5.9 billion in capital investments and more than 12,460 new jobs in 2017. Duke Energy has been featured on the list every year since 2005.

In 2017, the company's economic development team launched new and improved economic development recruitment initiatives, adopted drone technology to help showcase industrial sites and grew the economic development team. In addition, a primary focus for the team last year was expanding Duke Energy's electric vehicle and industrial electrification programs.

"Electrification and economic development work hand-in-glove with each other when it comes to business recruitment and development," said Clark Gillespy, senior vice president for economic development at Duke Energy. "The two groups complement each other very well, and that's why we strategically placed them together."

The economic development team was involved in many wins in 2017, including such companies as Egger Wood Products, Pfizer and Corning Fiber. But one of the experiences for the Duke Energy team in 2017 was the effort to recruit a major automaker – Toyota Mazda – to its service territory. Though Duke Energy's territory was selected as a finalist, that project eventually landed in Huntsville, Ala.

"In the end, Toyota chose to build its facility elsewhere," said Stu Heishman, vice president of economic development, business recruitment and territorial strategies. "But the effort to win taught us indelible lessons about our resourcefulness and creativity, and it opened up new processes to accomplish what was once thought to be impossible — lessons that will no doubt serve us well in competitions to come."

This further highlights how Duke Energy's approach to economic development is unique in the utility industry.

"Economic development is a team sport and we are a key position player – working with many local and regional partners in different capacities throughout the economic development process to achieve success," Heishman said. "Our team is committed to the mission of adding capital investment and jobs in the communities across our seven-state service area."