Community Engagement

TVA, OPPD recognized among top U.S. utilities in economic development

The Tennessee Valley Authority and the Omaha Public Power District have been recognized as among the top-ranking U.S. utilities in economic development by Site Selection magazine (Sept 2018).

“TVA is honored to be recognized as a top utility in economic development for the 13th consecutive year,” said TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley. “It is a testament to our mission to serve the residents of the Valley, by helping to foster job creation, investment, and economic growth to make our region a great place to live and work.”

The Site Selection recognition is based on 2017 activities, including jobs, capital investment and projects won in the Valley.

Last year, TVA economic development helped to create or retain over 70,000 new jobs and $8.3 billion in investment. Major project wins, such as the Nokian Tires plant in Rhea County, Tennessee which announced plans to create 400 new jobs and invest $360 million and Philips healthcare company expansion, poised to create 800 new jobs in its Nashville global business services center, highlighted TVA successful year in terms of economic development.


“OPPD proactively works with existing businesses on expansion opportunities as well as attracting new business and industry to our area,” said Tim Burke, OPPD president and CEO. “Our economic development team partners with community leaders and organizations at the local and statewide levels to meet the needs of these large customers. Their investments in our area bring great benefits to OPPD’s 375,000 customer-owners, as well as all Nebraskans,” he said.

“This is an example of OPPD’s vision of leading the way we power the future. OPPD has been able to play a major role in many of the projects in our area. I’m really proud of our ability to work with various stakeholders and partners on a local, state and regional level. Economic development is a team sport. And we’re honored be part of a great team.

“We value our existing customers and welcome new businesses that are considering moving into our 13-county service territory. Growth brings jobs, development, and increased revenue and contributes to our ability to maintain low costs for all of our customers,” the OPPD President and CEO went on to say.

Tim O’Brien, OPPD’s Director of Economic Development and External Relations, said “we work on all aspects of economic development, business attraction, business retention expansion, community development and planning. We also support other functions, including influencing OPPD’s planning, as well as product services and rate offerings.”

O’Brien also noted that OPPD’s Board of Directors prioritizes economic development and has outlined goals for the district in a strategic directive.

An article published in OPPD’s “The Wire” about the Site Selection recognition notes that significant projects that OPPD has landed include Facebook (100-plus jobs, $1.2 billion-plus investment), Veramaris (20 jobs, $200 million-plus investment) and Novozymes (10 jobs, $15 million-plus investment).

Adam Bruns, managing editor of Site Selection, said that utility economic development teams respond to an annual questionnaire with figures related to corporate facility investment projects in their territories.

“We perform calculations on a per-capita basis using the population of the utility’s territory, which produces our list of top utilities and honorable mentions,” he said in an email.

For details on the factors that go into determining the annual utility rankings and the full list of utilities, click here.