For the past several years, economic development officials from Wyoming have been among the many state delegations with booths at major data center conventions, touting the state’s merits as a destination for major data center projects.
It looks like Wyoming may finally have a big fish on the hook. The state is among the finalists for a $750 million data center for an unidentified company, which is rumored to be a financial institution. The Casper Star-Tribune reports that Cheyenne, Wyoming is one of three sites competing for the project.
The state’s chances may hinge on whether the Wyoming legislature can pass a package waiving state sales taxes on equipment for the data center, an incentive being offered by a number of states seeking data centers. The waiver would apply to data centers that spend $5 million or more in capital investment and $2 million or more in computer equipment – a pretty low hurdle for most projects to clear.
The bill is making its way through the house, and will then need to be approved by the state senate. But the data center prospect has apparently altered its timetable to await the passage of the bill, a possible sign that the company is serious about the Cheyenne location and not just using it as a bargaining chip in talks with other states.
Randy Bruns, the President of Cheyenne LEADS (Cheyenne-Laramie County Coproration for Economic Development) told the Star-Tribune that the incentive package is critical to the area’s recruitment effort.
“If (that bill) doesn’t pass, we’re pretty well assured that we won’t get it,” Bruns told the paper, adding that the size of the project would have a major impact on the local economy. “It’s off the charts of anything that’s happened in this part of the country.”
Cheyenne is currently home to a $65 million supercomputing data center for the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).