In today's world, business moves fast - both literally and figuratively. If a company is looking for a new location, they want sites that are ready with the necessary infrastructure, zoning, plus other amenities. DP&L's Site Certification will help communities examine a site's strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement, with the best sites ultimately earning certification. So when business is ready to move - certification lets them know that we're ready to move too.
Site Certification - What it means
Site certification programs are a growing trend across the United States. Approximately 20 states have certification programs. In many other states, utilities take the lead. This growing popularity is due to the fact that companies searching for a new business location increasingly consider only sites that are ready for development. If a site is missing critical infrastructure, it will not make the cut.
The goal of a site certification program is to identify and prepare project-ready sites. Critical elements to a certified site include:
- Sufficient acreage that is developable
- Utilities with sufficient capacity, including electricity, gas, sewer and water, at the site or readily available
- Access to transportation network
- Proper zoning
- Environmental studies complete with no environmental liabilities
Ultimately, developing a site to the point of certification increases the likelihood that the site will attract investment and valuable new jobs to our region.
The Certification Process
Please note: this program is not currently accepting new applicants.
To conduct the site certification, DP&L has contracted with McCallum Sweeney Consulting (MSC), a firm that has designed and managed several of the nation's most significant site evaluation and certification efforts. This proven process has three phases:
Phase 1: Site application & qualification
- DP&L and McCallum Sweeney host kick-off meetings to introduce the program.
- Interested communities will submit high-level qualification applications. Communities with sites that are most qualified are invited to proceed to Phase II, Site Evaluation.
Phase 2: Site Evaluation
- Communities prepare a more thorough site evaluation application to ensure the site will meet minimum criteria. Site evaluation will consider the site's assets, utility infrastructure, transportation assets, and development potential. Community assets and available workforce will also be considered. No specific engineering studies or environmental due diligence are required at this phase.
- MSC conducts a site visit to gain a more complete view of the site and the community's presentation.
- Participating communities receive a report outlining the site's strengths, weaknesses, and development potential. Qualified sites will be invited to participate in Phase III.
Phase 3: Site Certification
- Communities submit additional site information and required attachments related to the site. Of note, a significant amount of environmental due diligence may be required at this stage. This process may take up to 12 months.
- If necessary, MSC conducts an additional site visit.
- Upon successful completion, MSC delivers a letter indicating that the site is certified as ready for development, plus a report of the site's strengths and weaknesses, recommendations, and potential targeted industries.
As a part of our support for economic development, DP&L will pay the fees charged by MSC for the certification process. The community will be responsible for costs it incurs to apply for certification. Examples of costs communities may incur include (but are not exclusive to): environmental site assessments, geotechnical assessments, and archaeological and historical investigations.
About McCallum Sweeney Consulting
DP&L selected McCallum Sweeney Consulting to conduct the site certification program based on its extensive site certification and site selection experience. MSC has performed location consulting services for many of the world's largest and best-known companies including: Boeing, Michelin, Dollar General, Oreck and Mitsubishi Electric. In addition, MSC has site certification experience in Ohio, working with both Duke and AEP.
For more information on DP&L's Site Certification program, please contact DP&L Economic Development.