Regional Economic Development
Research, Marketing & Business Attraction
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Industry: Advanced Business Services
Jobs: 125 New
In the fall of 2008, internet giant Yahoo! began investigating sites for a new Northeast regional data center. Yahoo!'s internal site selection team was charged with identifying a site to meet a lengthy list of stringent criteria. Given the extremely high level of capital investment associated with such a large datacenter, strong emphasis was placed on finding the 'ideal' site on a strict time frame. All issues involving utilities, permitting, incentives, and public relations needed to be addressed very quickly.
Buffalo Niagara Enterprise (BNE) conducted an in depth regional site search, identifying seven potential sites. BNE then led the coordination effort between Empire State Development Corporation, New York Power Authority, New York State Electric & Gas, the Lockport Industrial Development Agency, the Town of Lockport, and a range of private professional service providers. Ultimately, it took the state’s decision to provide low-cost hydropower, significant tax breaks, ability to begin construction immediately, and the region’s cool temperatures to seal the deal. Yahoo! found Buffalo Niagara’s temperature to be a cost savings because the facility would use a “free cooling” concept- they will – use the cooler ambient air outside to cool down their servers.
The project was successful due to a concerted and team-oriented approach throughout the process. Yahoo! selected a 30-acre shovel ready site in the Lockport Industrial Park where they will build their datacenter, investing $300 million and creating 125 new jobs. This project was won in a mere three-month period.