Aerial shots Port Panama City in Panama City, Florida on July 25, 2019.

Gulf Power and sister company Florida Power & Light Company, under parent NextEra Energy, Inc., are honored to be recognized on Site Selection magazine’s annual Top U.S. Utilities in Economic Development list.

The list, which is featured in the magazine’s September issue, is based on analysis of utility economic development impact, including jobs and capital investment associated with competitive business location decisions. Site Selection also looked at website tools and data, innovative programs and incentives for business, including energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, and each utility’s own job-creating infrastructure and facility investment trends.

Gulf Power has a long history of supporting economic development across its service area in Northwest Florida.

“We are honored to be recognized for our company’s commitment to strengthening not just the communities that we serve, but all of Florida,” said Marlene Santos, Gulf Power president. “Our team works hard every day – forming impactful partnerships, facilitating critical conversations and working side-by-side with new and growing businesses to help them succeed. We are proud to do our part to continue moving Florida forward.”

The company offers competitive incentives to commercial and industrial customers, promotes the region on a national and international level, and has hosted a regional signature economic development symposium for the last 23 years that focuses on strengthening collaboration amongst all cities and counties.

To help bring new business to the region and grow local business, Gulf Power developed Florida First Sites. Launched in 2013, the program was created to help communities prepare locations and attract new industries and jobs. To be designated as a Florida First Site, each site completed a rigorous certification process, ensuring prework is completed and taking the majority of the risk out of the site selection process for businesses. Currently, the program has nine certified sites and two of them have been occupied – including GKN Aerospace, a major aerospace manufacturer.

Since 2013, Gulf Power has worked with more than 185 companies resulting in approximately 60 location or expansion announcements.

FPL furthered its investment in economic development in 2011 as a way to create jobs and help strengthen Florida’s economy and make it more sustainable after the Great Recession. FPL offers two rates, the Economic Development Rider and the Commercial Industrial Service Rider (CISR), to companies that start-up, locate or expand in the 35 counties it serves, which provides additional savings that can be reinvested in the business.

“As the largest utility in Florida and one of the state’s largest employers, we believe we have a responsibility to advance the state’s economic development activities,” said FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy. “Staffed by some of the country’s top experts in the field, FPL’s Office of Economic Development is keenly aware that where a business decides to locate is based on a number of factors and that a successful economic development program goes beyond simply offering a discounted electric rate.”

Through its PoweringFlorida® website and team, FPL works throughout the state to leverage its global relationships and its reach to attract new businesses and help existing businesses grow. It leads the way in promoting Florida as a great place to do business with a website tool that serves as a one-stop-shop for businesses looking to expand or move to the state.

From 2013 to 2018, FPL’s Office of Economic Development has helped make a nearly $90 billion impact on Florida’s economy, resulting in more than 244,000 jobs for the state.