The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has allocated 25 megawatts of hydro-electric power for a proposed Verizon data center that could bring hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in Niagara County, N.Y. The NYPA Board of Trustees last week approved the for the proposed 900,000 square foot data center project on Lake Road in Somerset,
Securing the power was seen as a key step in the region's bid to secure the huge Verizon project, which the company says could involve up to $3 billion in investment over a 20-year period. Verizon has yet to make its final decision for the project, citing interest from other states as it presses for additional state and local tax incentives. The company hasn't said which other states are being considered although one media report names Wyoming as a rival site.
The power would be provided over a 15-year contract term and be evenly drawn from two blocks of Niagara industrial power known as Replacement Power (RP) and Expansion Power (EP), which are reserved under state law for businesses within a 30-mile radius of the Niagara project. To qualify, applicants must create new jobs and capital investments.
"This allocation to Verizon demonstrates how the strategic use of low-cost hydropower has been the engine of the local economy in Western New York, and specifically, Niagara County," said NYPA President and CEO Richard Kessel. "Today’s action by NYPA Board exemplifies how aggressive we’ve been in working with state and local economic development agencies to attract premier high-tech companies to Western New York to create jobs and help turn around the region’s economy. Only last month, Yahoo officially opened its new data center in Lockport thanks in large part to our allocation of hydropower for that facility, and we would do the same for Verizon in the efforts to make Western New York a magnet for various types of job-producing high-tech industries.”
The allocation of power is "an essential component needed for Verizon to select Niagara County as the location of a new data center,” said Empire State Development Chairman & CEO Dennis M. Mullen. "New York competes on a daily basis with every state in the country and countries around the world for global companies who are looking to expand their operations. It’s imperative that state and local economic development agencies work to provide the best possible resources that complement our existing assets, including our top-notch workforce, world-class university system, access to water and central location in the Northeastern United States."