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Duke Energy has selected five Florida properties — including one in Southwest Volusia — for participation in this year’s Site Readiness Program, which will prepare them for targeted business development and future capital investment.

Through its Site Readiness Program, Duke Energy identifies high-quality industrial sites and works with the site’s owner, county/city officials and local economic-development professionals to identify the property’s current status and to develop a strategy for providing water, sewer, natural gas and electricity necessary for the development of the properties.

“This process of identifying competitive sites that are prime for development, coupled with strong workforce programs and available talent, has resulted in several successful projects throughout our six-state service area over the last 13 years,” said Marc Hoenstine, director of economic development for Duke Energy.

The other Florida locations are in Marion, Wakulla, Hamilton and Levy counties.

In Volusia County, DeBary Industrial Park is proposed for Duke Energy-owned land west of and adjacent to a CSX rail line and north of West Highbanks Road. It’s near a Duke power generating plant and 5 miles west of Interstate 4. The site will be evaluated to support light manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, IT/communications, biomedical/biotechnology, and food and beverage manufacturing.

“We’re very excited about the opportunity to work with Duke Energy through its site readiness initiative, highlighting an approximate 250-acre industrial zoned site with CSX access located between Orlando and Daytona,” said Roger Van Auker, economic-development director for the city of DeBary. “We appreciate Duke Energy’s partnership in economic development, taking a proactive role in the economic prosperity of DeBary and regionally.”

After each evaluation is completed, materials highlighting the property’s attributes are  used to help strategically market the sites nationwide for companies looking to expand or relocate their operations.

Duke Energy is working with two nationally recognized site-selection consulting firms based in South Carolina to evaluate the properties, and a Tampa-based engineering firm for studies and conceptual drawings for each site evaluation.

Duke Energy’s economic-development efforts have helped attract and grow more than 270 companies in Florida since 2001, resulting in more than 40,600 new jobs and $3.5 billion in capital investment in the communities it serves.

The Site Readiness Program has resulted in 34 major project wins on sites across the Duke Energy footprint. These projects will create more than 6,800 new jobs and invest more than $7 billion in capital.

For more information about Duke Energy’s economic-development programs, visit duke-energy.com/economic.

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