Success in economic development is the direct result of partnership and teamwork, particularly since recruitment of new and expanding industrial customers spans a globally competitive marketplace. Our efforts to encourage job creation and industrial growth improve the quality of life throughout our service areas. Progress Energy’s experienced economic development professionals help to advance business growth in our service territory by providing energy and marketing expertise to local and state partners, existing businesses and prospective customers.
Progress Energy has a long history of collaborating with communities in the Carolinas and Florida to support economic growth. In fact, Progress Energy’s economic development team worked with other agencies and organizations to attract more than 5,000 jobs and more than $1.2 billion in investments to the company’s service areas in the Carolinas and Florida in 2011.
In 2011, Progress Energy worked closely with our economic development partners in Orange County, the Metro-Orlando Economic Development Commission and Enterprise Florida on the recruitment of Prime Therapeutics, a specialty pharmacy benefits-management firm. The company is investing $18.1 million and will build a 77,000-square-foot facility in Orange County.
Prime Therapeutics will also create 213 high-wage jobs, which will help advance the growth of the life sciences industry in Central Florida. Orange County officials credit Progress Energy’s committed service and strong support as key factors in the company’s decision to locate in Florida over competing sites in Missouri and Pennsylvania. As a regional partner, Progress Energy was also instrumental in developing the Tampa Bay Regional Business Plan. The company’s Florida President and CEO, Vincent Dolan, led this strategic initiative and currently serves as chair of the Tampa Bay Partnership’s board.
“Progress Energy has always had strong involvement in economic development. It is reflected in their work to help us build a regional business plan for the eight counties we serve, and it is a very powerful tool,” says Stuart Rogel, president and chief executive officer of the Tampa Bay Partnership in Florida.
Progress Energy worked closely with the Person County Economic Development Commission and the N.C. Department of Commerce to help bring CertainTeed Gypsum’s $160 million wallboard manufacturing plant to Roxboro, N.C. Environmental upgrades at Progress Energy generating plants in Roxboro played a central role in the deal. CertainTeed will use raw materials extracted from Progress Energy’s emission-reducing scrubbers. This project creates 89 jobs that will pay an average annual salary of about $55,000, nearly twice the average worker’s wage in Person County.
Also in North Carolina, Progress Energy is playing a crucial role in bringing smart grid companies to the Triangle area through collaboration with the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, a 13-county organization centered in Raleigh. There are now 60 smart grid firms in this region, making it second only to San Francisco as a smart grid business hub.
Progress Energy was a sponsor of the Networked Grid 2012, held April 4-5, 2012, a conference focused on the national smart grid industry and hosted in the Triangle. This was the first time the conference was held outside of Silicon Valley.
Facility upgrades, new construction
Our company also positively affects local economic growth through facility upgrades and new construction. In 2011, Progress Energy completed the latest addition to the Sherwood Smith Energy Complex as part of its plan to modernize the power system and help ensure a future of lower-emission, cost-effective and reliable electricity for its customers. The plant represents an investment of nearly $600 million, provided up to 500 construction jobs at the peak of employment and added 11 permanent positions to the existing complex.
In South Carolina, Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) broke ground in January 2011 on a new $150 million battery recycling plant in Florence. This project will bring 250 jobs to a 36-acre complex slated to be operational in mid-2012.
Progress Energy is installing a large-capacity standby service for JCI’s critical environmental load and will provide electric cost savings through its economic development rider. The rider reduces the rate on power for five years and was a crucial factor in the company’s decision to locate in South Carolina. JCI considered several locations for the plant, including Delaware, Florida and Mississippi. Other key partners in the project were the Florence County Economic Development Partnership and the North Eastern Strategic Alliance.
Progress Energy also directed $300,000 to support infrastructure improvements in Clarendon, Lee, Marlboro and Sumter counties, as part of the state’s license fee credit program. The program allows a credit against a utility’s state business license fees when it invests funds to advance job-creating economic development projects.
Progress Energy is partnering with stakeholders, including Piedmont Natural Gas Co., local government and economic developers in a $600 million conversion of the company’s L.V. Sutton Plant near Wilmington, N.C., from coal to natural gas. Our company and its partners broke ground in May 2011 on this project. When completed in 2013, the facility’s capacity will increase from 575 to 625 MW while also cutting the carbon dioxide emission rate in half, lowering the nitrogen oxides emission rate by more than 95 percent and virtually eliminating sulfur dioxide and mercury emissions. The extension of new natural gas capacity in the region will also open new economic, commercial and residential development opportunities in the community.
A similar partnership is under way in Wayne County, N.C., where Progress Energy is building a new $900 million natural gas-fueled combined-cycle plant at the H.F. Lee Energy Complex near Goldsboro, enabling the retirement of three coal-fired units there.