Iowa Abuzz With Google Speculation

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The local development community in Council Bluffs, Iowa is buzzing about a new project being planned for a local industrial site. The tenant hasn’t been named, but officials say the project could bring 150 jobs paying up to $60,000 a year, and developers are arranging for additional capacity from the local water company. Those specs, along with the secrecy around the name of the company, have led to widespread speculation that the project may be a Google data center (link via John Rath).

Council Bluffs is just across the river from Omaha, Nebraska, which was identified as one of the most affordable locations for data center site selection in a recent survey by The Boyd Company of Princeton, N.J. The Council Bluffs site is in a favorable location for access to fiber and power, according to local media reports.

A quick caveat: the rapid succession of data center announcments from Google has prompted lots of speculation about additional sites, and some suggestions of locations that fit elements of Google’s profile (like Wheatland, Wyoming or St. Paul, Minnesota. Some of the secret projects with a data center profile may turn out to be Google’s competitors. This is worth noting, as the Omaha World-Herald article notes that “the names of a few other tech companies surfaced months ago.” Some of these projects may turn out to be Microsoft or Yahoo or Wal-Mart or even financial tenants, some of whom are very keen on secrecy.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.