It’s Official: Verizon Scraps Wyoming Project

As Verizon prepared to scale up its infrastructure to enter the cloud computing market, it explored both buying and building data center capacity. In the wake of its $1.4 billion acquisition of Terremark, Verizon confirmed last week that it will not build a large data center near Laramie, Wyoming. The company had previously backed out of another huge data center project in upstate New York.

Verizon had bought an option on land near Laramie for potential use as a data center. After the company canceled its project in Somerset, N.Y., citing the Verizon deal, there were reports that the Wyoming project was also dead. State officials held out hope, but last week Verizon made it official.

“As a result of the acquisition, we do not have plans at this time to build a data center in Wyoming,” Verizon spokeswoman Lynn Staggs told the Laramie Boomerang. “The Terremark acquisition, announced earlier this year, provides Verizon with the chance to accelerate its data center and cloud strategy.”

The Wyoming Business Council (WBC) estimated the Verizon facility would have created 500 jobs during construction and 150 to 200 executive jobs during operation. The data center would have had a payroll of $94 million to $500 million over a five-to-10-year period and jobs with an average annual wage of $75,000 to 85,000. The WBC also estimated the mega data center would have purchased and paid sales tax on 75 megawatts of electricity over an eight-year period.

State and local authorities had lined up millions of dollars in incentives for the project. Economic development officials said that while the decision was disappointing, the Verizon proposal may have opened the door for other projects.

“I think that what it did for us though in terms of our ability to attract other data centers was validate what we’ve been saying all along — is that this is a right place for folks that are looking for building data centers to do it,” Robert Jensen, CEO of the Wyoming Business Council, told the AP.

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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.

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