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TVA economic development efforts spur $5.9 billion in investments in fiscal year 2012


From the November 20, 2012 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published November 20, 2012

Economic development programs sponsored by the Tennessee Valley Authority  ― including technical services, research and financial assistance ― helped stimulate $5.9 billion in business investments in the TVA service area in fiscal year 2012, the utility said.

John Bradley, TVA senior vice president of economic development, said TVA’s efforts also helped attract or retain 48,000 jobs, bringing TVA’s economic development contributions to more than 300,000 new or retained jobs and $32 billion in business investment since 2005.

"Creating jobs, helping local communities, and improving quality of life in the Tennessee Valley is what TVA economic development is all about," Bradley said. "We thank our many partners ― local power companies, industry, state and local officials, and others ― for helping make these programs so successful." 

In 2012, TVA said, the utility’s economic development activities helped recruit or expand more than 150 companies and contributed to the following job totals and business investments for the TVA service area:
·    Alabama : 7,800 jobs and $1.2 billion;
·    Kentucky: 4,800 jobs and $957 million;
·    Middle Tennessee: 11,700 jobs and $1.2 billion;
·    Mississippi: 5,100 jobs and $504 million;
·    Northeast Tennessee and Virginia: 6,300 jobs and $506 million;
·    Southeast Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina: 4,450 jobs and $412 million; and
·    West Tennessee: 8,400 jobs and $1.0 billion.

TVA in 2012 won a Gold Award for its Megasites Program from the International Economic Development Council for excellence in economic development. Bill Adams, TVA Target Market specialist, conceived the idea of creating a "catalog of certified sites." The program, which teams TVA with local partners to market large industrial tracts to manufacturers, remains one of TVA’s most successful economic development efforts, the utility said. Megasite tenants include Volkswagen, which opened a $1 billion Passat factory on a megasite in Chattanooga in May 2011; and Toyota, which in 2007 selected a megasite near Tupelo, Miss., for a plant to build Corollas. TVA’s two remaining megasites are near Hopkinsville, Ky., and Stanton, Tenn. 

In September, TVA was named for the seventh straight year to Site Selectionmagazine’s list of the top 10 utilities in North America for economic development. The rankings are based on a number of factors, including project activity, input from corporate end users and site consultants, website tools and data, and innovative programs and incentives for business.

Four new locations in the Valley region were identified in fiscal year 2012 for potential development under TVA’s program to attract data centers. The new locations are in Warren County, Tenn. (two sites), Hopkinsville, Ky., and Cookeville, Tenn., raising the total number of potential data center sites identified in the program to 22, TVA said.

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