Duke Energy awarded the River Ridge Development Authority a grant for $30,000 to assist paying for a large tract to be evaluated for “megasite” certification, which is likely to attract major manufacturers to the rapidly growing commerce center in Southern Indiana.

Megasites are at least 1,000-acre parcels of land marketed by state economic development officials as being ideal for large-scale manufacturing or industrial development. The sites must meet stringent requirements before receiving certification. To become certified, the parcel must have the necessary permits, approvals and infrastructure in place to allow a prospective business to begin construction.

River Ridge’s website lists a 1,730-acre automotive megasite — already zoned for heavy industrial — between Charlestown State Park and the Old Salem Road interchange that’s being built in conjunction with construction of the planned eastern span of the Ohio River Bridges Project.

“This megasite has the potential to attract large-scale manufacturing, which in turn brings high-skill, high-paying jobs,” Acy said in a statement.

The 2.5-million square-foot Amazon warehouse is its largest in North America.

“This award fully supports the goals and objectives of Duke Energy’s Site Readiness Program, which is designed to promote economic development within our service area,” Pat More, Duke Energy manager for the Jeffersonville area, said in a statement this week.

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