Report recommends set standards for site readiness programs

Report recommends set standards for site readiness programs Main Photo

24 Mar 2020

Data Center, data centers, economic development

Site readiness programs are a tool that many economic development organizations have used in recent years to help companies and site selectors make faster, more informed decisions on the viability of potential sites.

But not all programs follow the same defined standards, which leads to inconsistencies. This issue is the topic of a recently released white paper by the Site Selectors Guild, a professional association of leading site selection consultants.

The authors of the paper agree that site readiness programs have helped economic development organizations significantly reduce the time needed to respond to requests for information; however, they have also pointed to a need for standardization and quality control.

The report’s authors recommend creating a set of standards for site readiness programs modeled after the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Energy Efficient Buildings certification. They suggest a ranking and scoring system similar to the LEED buildings program would allow decision-makers to better compare sites across jurisdictions.

Great River Energy—one of just three organizations in Minnesota with a site readiness program—bases its site assessments on a detailed list of criteria developed with help from Deloitte Consulting’s Real Estate and Location Strategy Practice, a partner with longtime experience in assisting clients in their site selection process.

“We are ready and willing to collaborate to ensure Minnesota’s programs are well-positioned and able to pivot to whatever scoring method is unanimously adopted,” said Erin Sparks, economic development lead at Great River Energy.

Learn more about Great River Energy's data center site assessment program here:

A link to download the full report can be found here: