ElectriCities is a not-for-profit government service organization representing cities, towns and universities that own electric distribution systems: more than 70 N.C. cities serve 500,000 customers with 1 million customers served in N.C., S.C., and Va.
One of ElectriCities’ roles is to represent member communities to expanding and relocating companies. We maintain comprehensive databases for all public power municipalities in North Carolina. Prospects can order detailed reports on dozens of sites, from mountains to coast. Within 48 hours of a request, ElectriCities will send profiles of locations that precisely match the company’s specifications. “They find all the information they need in one place,” says Brenda Daniels, the organization’s economic development manager.
ElectriCities has recently implemented an enhanced site certification program called Smart Sites. Smart Sites are a slam-dunk choice for companies that are ready to grow now. This designation guarantees that a site has met stringent requirements and is “shovel-ready” for immediate development.
Each Smart Site has municipal electric service, water and sewer access within 500 feet, and is within five miles of an Interstate or Interstate-quality highway. Faster construction, fewer uncertainties and less risk for companies and site selectors alike.
In addition, ElectriCities offers a certified industrial park that it has dubbed a “Prime Power Park,” which offers 12 MW of on-site backup power generation. The park is in the city of Albemarle, located in the Piedmont’s lake country. The Albemarle park has direct rail access from Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, clearly qualifying the area as a great rail intermodal site. “If a company has a critical operation that can’t risk a power outage, they have a backup available, and don’t have to spend the money to purchase a generator,” Daniels adds.
The Smart Sites and Prime Power Park, like the rate-lowering services to all ElectiCities’ customers provide ongoing incentives for companies looking for an ideal logistics location.
ElectriCities remains a partner through the entire site-selection process, helping companies with utility-related issues, arranging site visits, and facilitating contact with local, county and state officials.
And these companies recognize the cost efficiencies and superior customer service public power provides. Municipal utilities don’t have to pay dividends to shareholders, and those savings can be passed on to the utilities’ customers.