Thursday, March 15, 2007

How'ya gonna keep down on the server farm...

When they've seen Quincy [WA]:

This Grant County town, 20 miles west of Moses Lake, struck digital gold in December 2005 when Microsoft Corp. chose a 75-acre bean field near downtown for an eventual 1.5 million-square-foot, six-building data center complex. Since then, four other companies have chosen to plant their digital data in this area.

The data centers have transformed Quincy's economy, with 1,400 new houses under development and two new schools. Entezar Development Group of Bellevue plans a 1.9 million-square-foot shopping mall and 120-room hotel downtown. Farmland that once fetched $5,000 an acre goes for $30,000 to $50,000. House prices and rents have doubled.

During the past two years, Quincy and its Central Washington neighbors have evolved into the nation's hottest spot for server farms. More than $3 billion of new construction is under way in the region.

....High-tech companies come here for the nation's cheapest hydroelectric power rates, thanks to Grant County's two enormous dams, which pump out power as cheap as 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, said Tim Snead, the city's administrator. That compares with a national industrial rate of 9 cents. The data centers gobble up 40-plus megawatts of electricity each.

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