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Terracon Stage 1 Reports Available

When evaluating a site, or property, there is more than what meets the eye.

Each business has specific needs when expanding or building a new facility -property size, power, water, sewer, etc. These specialized requirements also include looking at environmental features above and below the surface. Knowing this information before a site is considered for development strengthens your credibility with site selection consultants and businesses.


Georgia Power partners with state and local communities to make the site selection process as efficient and customer-focused as possible. One resources we use to help decide if a site is suited for a specific business is a subscription to Terracon and Stage 1 Reports. Providing as much information as possible early on can eliminate a site or move it to the top of the list – speeding up the process for all parties involved in the location decision. Our team of engineers and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) specialists are responsible for understanding what makes a site the best one for a business.

We recently caught up with Ricardo, Engineering Manager, to learn more about the Terracon reports and why they are important for economic development.

What is a Terracon report (and what are they usually called?)

The Terracon Stage 1 Report is a high-level desktop preview of what one may encounter on the site; the Stage 1 Report is a proprietary service offered by Terracon, a national engineering firm specializing in Geotechnical Engineering.

Why is this important to the site selection process?

Before any property is selected for a new business, a lot of due diligence is needed.

That due diligence typically includes a Geotechnical Study, a Phase I Environmental Report, a Wetlands Delineation, Cultural Resources, a Federally Protected Species, and a Stream Delineation, among others. The sum of all these, and perhaps additional engineering studies, inform the ultimate site design, the building yield, the permitting requirements, the time required for permitting, the time required for mitigation, and ultimately the overall development of the site.

That development enables the transition from a green field to a tax revenue and job creation center.

Why did the engineers at Georgia Power seek out these reports?

In Economic Development we have some communities with a lot of tools and staffing, while other communities may not have a large team, or the budget needed to prepare a site.

Communities with lots of staff, resources, and connections are typically well-informed and prepared to pitch a good sales pitch to a prospect. Part of the sales pitch must include in-depth knowledge of their available product. In Economic Development, part of that product is the site that is being offered for development.

Communities that are well-staffed and have active Development Authorities are also typically well-versed in the requirements of development, and like a private developer and frequently in conjunction with private developers, work closely with local engineering firms to provide all the necessary due diligence that enables the transition from a green field to a tax revenue and job generating center. These communities, after accumulating all the prerequisite due diligence, will take the opportunity and separate themselves from the crowd by becoming a GRAD Site, and more recently a GRAD Select site. Being a GRAD or GRAD Select Site is an effective way of telling the world of economic development that all preliminary due-diligence requirements have been met, and that a site is ready to move forward with detailed engineering, and then followed by development and construction.

Then there is a third group, typically in less developed, more rural areas of the state. This group of communities has found a potential site for economic development, has purchased, and secured the site, and the site is actively being marketed. But, for one reason or another, the resources and or connections are not available to finance all the due diligence requirements. This is precisely where the Terracon Stage 1 Reports can come in to fill the gap in a “preliminary manner.”

With our Economic Development experience, submitting these sites for projects always brings up the question of due diligence. Without the ability to answer important questions about risk, the sites are more likely to be eliminated.

To help fill the informational gap, in 2020, Georgia Power Community & Economic Development was introduced to the Terracon Stage 1 Reports. Our engineers saw the potential to use these reports to fill those gaps. We decided to make an investment in these communities by supplying the Terracon Stage 1 Reports as a stop gap.

We entered a contract with Terracon to provide us with Stage 1 Reports on an as-needed basis. Since then, we have renewed this contract several times and added funds to continue this program.

How are these different than information I’m finding elsewhere, like a county’s GIS or Property portal?

The Terracon Stage 1 Reports leverage the accumulated history of geotechnical knowledge collected by Terracon throughout the State of Georgia. They provide a “preliminary high-level analysis” of the geotechnical and sub-surface conditions that one may expect to find at a given site. The report also dives into other publicly available sources of data to inform the prospect or owner about the potential presence of Cultural Resources, Wetlands, Flood Zones, Streams, Federally Protected Species. It does all this in an abbreviated format that is easy to read versus a highly technical typical engineering report.

The Terracon Stage 1 Report aides the reader with guidance on next steps that may inform what actions a prospect can take to move forward with a given site. It also may inform actions a community can take to mitigate issues that might be encountered by the prospect - that is, allowing the community to pre-emptively mitigate a problem prior before marketing the site.

In my opinion, the Stage 1 Report fills a gap in due diligence information that is critical when determining which site will move forward in the selection process.

It should be noted that Stage1 Report does not replace the need to perform more detailed due diligence reports, but in some cases may provide enough preliminary information to keep a site in the mix. If nothing else, it certainly informs how a community can move forward, and what challenges they will need to overcome to stay competitive the next time around.

Which sites do we have these for, and why did we pick those sites?

When we started the acquisition of the Stage 1 Reports, a joint Georgia Power team met to decide how we would pick specific sites. We decided to exclude all sites that were/are Georgia GRAD certified for the obvious reason that those sites have already completed more stringent and detailed engineering studies to satisfy the GRAD program requirements. For a GRAD Site, the Stage 1 Report would not add any valuable information.

That left all sites where there was no available due diligence reports. Next, we looked at the property search tool on, and the statistical results to find the popularity of the remaining non-GRAD sites. From there, we started acquiring reports based on popularity, starting with the most popular and working our way down as budget and Terracon capacity allowed.

To date we have Terracon Stage 1 Reports for about 60 sites located all over the state, and the capacity to continue adding additional sites.

Terracon Client Portal Screen View

How can a community learn more about these and other resources available on sites?

We’ve made it easy for our partners to access the Stage 1 Reports that have been completed - if so, the result can be found via a link on the SelectGeorgia property search tool, under the heading of Stage 1 Report.

Additionally, a community may contact their Regional Community Development Manager and request their report (if available).