Duke Energy completes Site Readiness
Program for Monarch Ranch
Recommended industries for the Sumter County site include food
processing, logistics/distribution and plastics
July 15, 2015
ST. PETERSBURG, FL. — When it’s time to move, homebuyers look for just the right
place to live. Business owners also have a checklist of things in mind when looking to
relocate. Duke Energy has taken the lead in helping communities identify quality sites
that will attract new and expanding business to their area. This results in new, high
paying jobs in the community and investments that can lead to transportation
improvements, support for schools, investments in community organizations and the
diversification of the local economy.
Duke Energy has just completed the evaluation of the Monarch Ranch site, through the
company’s Site Readiness Program. The 3,345-acre site, strategically located between
I-75 and the Florida Turnpike in Wildwood, is one of five Florida sites that has been
evaluated through the Duke Energy Site Readiness Program, which helps advance
prime sites for industrial development opportunities. Duke Energy brought the program
to Florida after successfully attracting businesses to other states where it operates.
During a recent public meeting with Sumter County officials and the landowners, Duke
Energy provided a detailed report about the site’s level of readiness.
“This is the first site the Duke Energy Business Development Team reviewed after the
merger,” said Alex Glenn, Duke Energy state president. “The team was impressed with
the site due to its unique proximity to both interstate and rail. Now that Monarch Ranch
has been through the Site Readiness Program, we have validation that it is the perfect
site for many of Florida’s target industries.”
Over the past several months, Duke Energy in conjunction with Sumter County
Economic Development arranged for McCallum Sweeney Consulting, a nationally
recognized site selection consultant, to conduct a thorough analysis of Monarch Ranch.
The process began with an RFP process collecting key information on the site followed
by an in-depth meeting and site visit with local economic development officials. A
separate engineering firm, HRP Associates, completed a buildable study and
conceptual plan for the site.
“The site readiness program provided by Duke Energy not only invigorated the land
owners to move forward with further investments in their property but also provided a
template of readiness for other industrial-zoned properties in Sumter County,” said
Bradley Arnold, Sumter County Administrator.
The detailed report presented to local officials included a technical review outlining
strengths, weaknesses and recommendations for next steps. “Attracting investments
and jobs is more competitive than ever,” remarked Mark Sweeney, principal of
McCallum Sweeney Consulting. “It’s not an easy process and takes a community-wide
effort.” Sweeney explained that “your product is your community and everything about
your community may be a factor that someone is considering and evaluating.”
The report also featured a marketing evaluation and recommendations for target
industries, which included food processing, logistics/distribution and plastics.
Duke Energy Florida owns coal-fired and natural gas generation. That diverse fuel mix
provides about 9,000 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.7 million
customers in a 20,000-square-mile service area.
Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States with
approximately $115 billion in total assets. Its regulated utility operations serve
approximately 7.2 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and
Midwest. Its commercial power and international energy business segments own and
operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including
a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.
Regionally headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250
company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More
information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com/Florida.