Yahoo and state officials today confirmed the worst-kept secret in Western New York: that the company will build a $150 million data center on a 30-acre property in Lockport, New York. The Yahoo site was officially confirmed at a news conference this afternoon, and will create 125 local jobs paying $65,000 to $75,000 a year once its two-phase construction plan is completed.
Yahoo filed site plans in Lockport earlier this month. Construction on the 181,000 square foot, six-structure complex is scheduled to begin in August and be completed by May 2010. Yahoo executive David Dibble said the facility will feature a "brand new design and engineering approach" focused on energy efficiency. The first phase will receive 10 megawatts of hydro-electric power from the New York Power Authority, which will also provision 15 megwawatts for the second phase of construction.
Yahoois paying $450,000 to buy 30 acres of land from the Lockport Industrial Development Agency for the data center.
"The greater Buffalo area possess all of the resources required to run a world-class data center that uses leading edge technology to drive new milestones in energy efficiency," said Dibble, Yahoo's Executive Vice President, Service Engineering & Operations. "Everyone we have worked with – from Governor Paterson and Senator Schumer, to the New York Power Authority, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, the Town of Lockport, and Empire State Development – has been supportive in understanding Yahoo!’s needs and in moving this project forward."
"Yahoo!’s decision to locate a data center in Niagara County solidifies New York’s position as a leader in the New Economy," said New York Gov. David Paterson. "This investment will create new job opportunities, help to develop the local economy and also attract other tech industries to the area. We are pleased to welcome Yahoo! to New York."
'Big Win' for NY State
“Today we have scored a big win for Western New York," said U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer. "The 125 jobs are important, but if this works as planned, Yahoo! will be a lighthouse in Western New York, saying to high tech companies 'come, we have a lot to offer.'"
Lockport is offering a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) incentive that would include a 20-year tax break that would have Yahoo pay no property taxes for the first 10 years, then pay 20 percent more every two years after that. The deal would also include a sales tax exemption on all equipment purchases, an incentive which has been adopted by a number of states hoping to lure data centers.
Importance of Energy
Yahoo's data center site location has been guided by energy efficiency concerns, including the need to hydro-electricity to power the facility and fresh air to cool it. The region's clean, green power was noted as an asset.
“Western New York’s access to hydropower makes this announcement possible and this region’s future hinges on our ability to see much greater benefits from this unique resource moving forward," said Congressman Brian Higgins. "Our lake, that feeds our river, that drives the Niagara power plant, holds great potential to replicate economic development and job success stories like this in Western New York again and again, but to do this we must be given the opportunity to reclaim what is naturally ours.”