Economic developers have had a problem for a long time. Finding data associated with a potential economic development site has always been a difficult and laborious undertaking especially with trying to determine what utility providers serve the potential site. In the past, economic developers had to refer to a paper maps and spreadsheets of data that led to confusion and misinformation when comparing sites and gathering information. This is where Interapt and Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives saw an opportunity to work together.
With Interapt’s innovation and Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives wanting to revolutionize economic development, an economic development game changing piece of technology called PowerMap came to be.
PowerMap is a new mobile and web app that gives economic developers instant access to detailed cooperative service territory maps for all 87 counties of Kentucky served by Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives. It is also integrated with StateBook International, an online marketplace for economic development and site selection that strategically aggregates, updates, and organizes more than 60,000 data points. Users can either type in a street address or use native GPS tracking on their mobile device to determine if that location falls within the service territory of one of the 16 co-operatives.
The PowerMap app is a “first-of-its-kind tool” according to Rodney Hitch, Manager for Economic Development. “PowerMap leverages the latest mapping tech with 63,000 site selection data points from StateBook.” Statebook is a website that leverages information required for site selection such as demographics, taxes, and utility costs.
In the past, the process of verifying which energy provider owns a certain defined territory would involve several parties, including the public service commission and others, and could take several days. The idea for PowerMap spawned from a discussion about economic development during a recent trade mission to Canada that included Associate Manager Brad Thomas and Interapt CEO Ankur Gopal.
“I commend East Kentucky Power Cooperative for being the first utility in the U.S. to integrate StateBook’s robust data for site selection and cutting-edge technology,” said Calandra Cruickshank, President and CEO of StateBook International. “Powered by StateBook data, PowerMap enables the communities served by EKPC to put data into the hands of economic development professionals and business prospects on-site.”
“Data is power, and timing is important in any economic development deal,” says Thomas. “By placing geographic information regarding power service territories literally in the hands of economic development professionals, Powermap will streamline the process of quickly analyzing the most important and costly factors of placing warehouses, assembly plants, industrial buildings, logistics, and advanced manufacturing in a defined area.”
PowerMap is a tool that helps Economic Development teams gain a competitive advantage by providing the most important site selection data on their mobile device,” said Gopal. “PowerMap helps economic developers bring new jobs, new companies, and new revenue to their region.”