Hattiesburg, Miss. (July 18, 2023) — Cooperative Energy, together with the 11 Member distribution cooperatives it serves, announced the award of a Cooperative Competes grant to the Pearl River County Economic Development District (PRCEDD).
The $25,000 Cooperative Competes grant will be used for environmental due diligence of the 30-acre Pearl River County Technology Park.
“The original Picayune Industrial Park is near capacity, and we field numerous inquiries looking for small to mid-size parcels for business development, but have nowhere to recommend,” said Director of Economic Development for Pearl River County Lindsay Ward. “Grant support from Coast Electric and Cooperative Energy makes it more achievable for our community to proactively develop the tech park and be ready when the next inquiry comes along.”
The Pearl River County Technology Park is adjacent to the Picayune Municipal Airport, minutes from Interstate 59. Coast Electric provides electric service to the site as does its high-speed internet subsidiary, CoastConnect. The technology park is ideal for light industry, research and development, and other technology-based companies from neighboring Louisiana and surrounding areas, including Stennis Space Center.
Coast Electric President and CEO Ron Barnes said the team at Coast Electric is eager for the next step of industrial investment in Pearl River County. “The Picayune Industrial Park is essentially at capacity. As the electric service provider for the area, we’re excited about the potential to welcome new capital investments and jobs to the technology park,” said Barnes.
Pearl River County recently received a $50,000 site development grant from the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) for the Pearl River County Technology Park. The Cooperative Competes grant will be used by the county as a portion of the local match required by the MDA site program.
Investment in site development is a long-term strategy, said Mitch Stringer, economic development director for Cooperative Energy. “We created the Cooperative Competes program to provide communities the opportunity to develop more competitive sites. The grants are typically combined with other funding sources and maximize the impact of proactive investment.”
The Cooperative Competes initiative, aimed at increasing product and community competitiveness, was unveiled in 2019. A component of the initiative allows economic development organizations to apply for grant funds to offset industrial property development costs. These funds are provided jointly by Cooperative Energy’s 11 Member distribution cooperatives. Eligible uses include industrial site preparation, environmental due diligence studies, as a portion of the local match for Mississippi Development Authority’s Site Development Grant Program, or other property development needs. A local funding match is typically required for Cooperative Competes grants.
For more information about Cooperative Competes visit www.cooperativeenergy.com/economic-development-cooperative-competes/
About Cooperative Energy
Cooperative Energy generates and transmits electricity to 11 Member-owned electric distribution cooperatives. Known as the Power of 12, Cooperative Energy and its Member cooperatives work together to provide safe, reliable and affordable power from the Mississippi Delta to the Coast. The 11 electric cooperatives own and maintain more than 58,000 miles of distribution lines and provide service to approximately 448,000 homes and businesses throughout 55 counties.