Wyoming is aggressively working to attract data centers to the state. The industry magazine Expansion Solutions recently recognized the Cowboy State’s efforts to accommodate companies looking to build or expand their computing operations.
Wyoming Business Council CEO Bob Jensen says his organization targets trade shows, real estate directors and data management industry publications to promote Wyoming’s offerings, including a cool climate, cheap power, and lots of space to build.
Jensen says Wyoming has a lot of competition to attract these businesses.
Wyoming exported more goods to foreign markets in 2012 than in 2011.
Total revenue went from 1-point-2 billion dollars to 1-point-4 billion dollars. The largest market is Canada, followed by Australia and Brazil. Machinery and raw commodities like coal, and oil and gas are the top exports.
C-E-O of the Wyoming Business Council, Bob Jensen, says there are several factors that contributed to the growth.
The State Loan and Investment Board or SLIB approved over eight million dollars in Business Ready grants.
Among the highlights, SLIB approved funding for a major road project in Sweetwater County to benefit Uranium production and the board also agreed to a managed data center cost reduction grant for Green House Data in Cheyenne.
It will give the company the opportunity to expand by providing it a two-point-25 million dollar utility break. Shawn Mills of Green House Data says the action will help his company and the state’s economy.
A new report, released by several stakeholders including the Wyoming Business Council, the University of Wyoming, and the Idaho National Laboratory, says there’s potential to add value to the state’s abundant energy resources. Ideas to generate value include a carbon-conversion industry to produce synthetic transportation fuels, and diversifying power generation in the state to include more wind and nuclear energy.
Wyoming Business Council CEO Bob Jensen says the report looks at both the near and distant future.
Laramie will receive nearly $5.5 million to build a technology park in the city. The grant is one of five the Wyoming Business Council recommended to the State Loan and Investment Board, or SLIB, and today SLIB approved it. In total, SLIB approved almost $10 million for projects around the state.
Laramie Economic Development Corporation’s Board Chair, Megan Goetz, says now the pressure is on to make the project a reality.
Governor Matt Mead’s efforts to land a Data Center for the state has paid off. Microsoft is going to build a 112 million dollar facility near Cheyenne that could employ up to 40 people.
To attract Microsoft, Governor Mead says the state offered nearly 11 million dollars in incentives, but he believes that the state should get a great return on its investment and he says it will provide high paying jobs. Mead has been touting the need for Data Centers and he says this is an important start.
The Wyoming Business Council is conducting a survey to determine what parts of the state have inadequate Internet access.
Leah Bruscino is the Council’s northwest regional director. She says some rural areas have nothing but dial-up, and it’s hard to run a business that way.
“Mountain lodges that cater to, say, snowmobilers or summer trade – you know, obviously being tourism businesses, they’d like to have rich, vibrant sites and be able to send clients nice, rich information.,” says Bruscino. “That’s a challenge.”