Certified Sites

North Carolina offers various certification programs to ensure sites are ready for immediate development. 

What is a Certified Site?

Since 2001, North Carolina has offered an official Certified Sites program to provide a statewide inventory of industrial sites that have undergone a rigorous prequalification process to ensure they are “shovel ready” for immediate development and meet a consistent set of standards.

The Certified Sites program reduces the risks associated with development by providing detailed information about a site’s price and availability, utilities, access, environmental concerns, potential development costs, and more. Sites are periodically re-certified to ensure accurate and reliable data.

Certified sites logo

How to Become a Certified Site

To obtain the Certified Sites designation, communities must undergo a stringent review process to demonstrate they have addressed 31 prerequisites, including:

  • Business/industrial use designation.
  • Phase I environment audits.
  • Geo-technical studies.
  • Topographical analysis and maps.
  • Aerial photography.
  • Availability of public utilities.
  • Industrial power quality.
  • Engineered site development plans.
  • Detailed analysis of development cost.
  • Complete information on pricing.

All documentation for the Steering Committee to review must be submitted three weeks before the meeting. The Certified Sites Steering Committee generally meets on the fourth Wednesday of every other month of the year, starting in February.

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Get More Information

For more information about the Certified Sites Program, contact:

Will Best
North Carolina Certified Sites Director
North Carolina Department of Commerce
(984) 365-0298


Other Certification Programs 

North Carolina has several in-state companies that offer site certification programs. The certification process provided in these programs offers more shovel-ready sites and assists site selectors in making informed choices. 
Smart sites logo

Smart Sites Program 

Created by ElectriCities, this program assists member communities in preparing shovel-ready sites.

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Duke Energy logo

Site Readiness Program 

This program is intended to identify and improve industrial sites in the Duke Energy service territory.

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Cooperative Ready Sites Logo

Cooperative Ready Sites Program 

NC Electric Cooperatives offers completed due diligence studies for sites, increasing speed of development.

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Get in Touch

Lena Hobbs-Brown

Lena Hobbs-Brown

Business Development Associate