By Mark Wilcox
A national site selection magazine for the second year in a row has backed Wyoming’s claim that it’s a great place for data centers with an award for data-center recruitment for the second year in a row.
Expansion Solutions Magazine, by its own definition is “designed to inform key site-selection consultants and corporate real estate brokers about progressive communities and the benefits offered by each community.” For 2013, the magazine gave Wyoming a Top 5 Award of Excellence for work in recruiting data centers through the Wyoming Business Council, the actual recipient of the award.
“Wyoming’s abundant energy supply and its cool, dry climate make Wyoming a perfect fit for technology companies seeking expansion opportunities,” said Expansion Solutions CEO Jeff Cornett in a release.
Wyoming landed a high-profile data center when Microsoft announced its $112 million data center in Cheyenne last year, a facility that is now under construction with expansion plans already in the works. The state chipped in nearly $11 million to the initial facility through various grant in-roads, including $5 million from a state fund designed specifically to recruit data centers.
Gov. Matt Mead has always sought to bring more data centers to Wyoming, justifying the competitive costs of bringing them in by saying, in part, that technology should be a next step for Wyoming’s energy-driven economy.
“This award is indicative of the reputation and success we are achieving in developing our technology sector,” Mead said in a statement today. “This announcement comes while much is happening in the tech arena around our state.”
Mead specifically mentioned the Microsoft data center, a Green House Data expansion underway – also with state aid – and the “thriving” Ptolemy Data Systems.
“All of this growth represents jobs – high paying jobs that offer new opportunities here in Wyoming,” Mead said.
Winners of the award, according to the release, were singled out for the support system offered to businesses, as well as recent activity and potential growth. Strategic locations, pro-business climates, investments made improving infrastructure and the availability of buildings and sites were among the top deciding factors in choosing the winning locations, according to Cornett. The awards will be listed in the magazine’s January 2014 issue.
“The incentives we’ve created are built by careful design with critical input from leaders in this industry,” said Bob Jensen, CEO of the Wyoming Business Council in the release. “These successes are only possible because of the close working partnerships developed during the past several years with Gov. Mead, the state legislature and local economic-development organizations, as well as our relationship building efforts with technology companies and site selectors.”