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Preparing The Way: Entergy’s Work On-Site Prep Reaps Results For Companies and Communities

Posted August 16, 2021 in News

In recognizing Entergy’s economic development team as a Top Utility in Economic Development for the 13th straight year in 2020, we noted the team’s site development program that’s helped communities far and wide. Entergy Louisiana has assisted 31 counties in delivering site videos, interactive building fliers and ESRI story maps to further enhance the competitiveness of industrial sites. Entergy Louisiana assisted Louisiana Economic Development (LED) in certifying 12 sites in 2019 — Louisiana currently has 118 certified sites, 91 of which are within Entergy territory.

A survey of that territory shows the momentum has not slowed. It includes a new effort targeting data centers, touting the region’s reliable and affordable power, cost of doing business, cleaner energy, telecom bandwidth and yes, access to quality sites that are close to critical infrastructure.

Entergy Mississippi runs its own Entergy Qualified Site program, and in 2020 announced three new sites within its territory to receive this designation: East Metropolitan Center in the Rankin First Economic Development Authority’s 1,133-acre business and industrial park next to I-20; Ceres Industrial Park, also near I-20 and overseen by the Vicksburg-Warren Partnership; and Leland Industrial Park, where 500 acres await at the site administered by the Washington County Economic Alliance less than a mile north of Leland.

Entergy Mississippi’s other qualified sites are in Adams, Bolivar, DeSoto, Hinds, Madison and Tunica counties. The utility also assists communities via its Excellerator Grant Program, a matching grant program, in order to complete site due diligence.

In Arkansas, community leaders of Crittenden County, the City of West Memphis and the City of Marion came together in unified support of the 1,800- acre West Memphis I-40 Select Site. The City of West Memphis is leading the effort to continue to improve the mega site which was originally certified in November 2018. Due diligence on the site includes a Phase I environmental assessment, wetlands delineations, geotechnical report and cultural resource studies. Other Select Site properties are located in Jefferson County, Mississippi County, Little Rock, Magnolia, Maumelle, Newport, and now Russellville, as officials in December announced the completed certification of the city’s second certified Select Site, a 44-acre tract known as the Butterfield – Russellville East End Site. (For more, visit www.ArkansasSiteSelection.com.)

“With today’s climate,” says Danny Games, director of Business and Economic Development for Entergy Arkansas, “it is even more important that we communicate that state of readiness online and up our digital game.”

Officials with Mississippi County Economic Development and Entergy Arkansas also recently announced completion of the utility’s Select Site certification for the Osceola Driver 130 industrial site, which sits on 130 acres near I-55, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway, and the Mississippi River.

“The timeline for responding to prospects has shortened significantly,” said Clif Chitwood with Mississippi County Economic Development, “and going through the certification process helps to ensure that we have the site information necessary to respond quickly to inquiries.

To increase reliability and support two new container gantry cranes at the Port of New Orleans, Entergy New Orleans recently created an underground service loop (automatic load transfer) to serve the operations of the Napoleon Intermodal Terminal. Lineage Logistics just announced a $42 million, 50-job expansion at the port.

*Photo courtesy of Port of New Orleans

The Entergy Intelligence Report was originally published in the May 2021 issue of Site Selection Magazine.