Optimal Data Center Locations: Where and Why

Building a data center is not a simple process. There are several considerations and factors that play into various stages of the developmental process. However, one of the most important decisions when building a data center is location.

Many factors go into selecting the optimal location for a data center. Experts have selected six main criteria for the selection process:

  • Availability, cost and redundancy of electric power
  • Low risk of adverse weather events or natural disasters
  • High-quality construction at a low cost
  • Telecommunications infrastructure
  • Cooling technology/equipment
  • Quality of life

AEP commissioned Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Company (BLS), a nationally recognized site location consulting firm, to determine the best data center sites in our service territory.

After a rigorous evaluation across several metrics, BLS identified ten data center site locations and ultimately developed a detailed site prospectus for each site location.

Below are the ten data center sites and a few reasons why they have been determined to be optimal locations for data center development.

1. Bradley Square – Mt. Hope, West Virginia

  • Temperate climate, low cooling costs
  • Minimal risk for natural disasters
  • Robust utility infrastructure
  • Remote location that ensures tighter security

2. Industrial Centre Site #17 – Muncie, Indiana

  • Good fiber access
  • Low cost of power at $0.0475 per kWh
  • Optimal temperate climate
  • Easy access to two major interstates

3. National Cyber Research Park – Bossier City, Louisiana

  • Strong bandwidth
  • Prime location with a major transportation corridor
  • Robust electric supply with available capacity
  • Eligible for tax increment financing

4. Findlay Commerce Park – Findlay, Ohio

  • 136 developable acres
  • Temperate climate
  • Located in the middle of a major fiber route
  • Low seismic activity

5. Wolpert Greenfield Site – Hilliard, Ohio

  • Abundant utility resources
  • Property is located outside the 100-year flood plain
  • Site access is strong with a close interstate and airport
  • State exemption from real and personal property taxes

6. Cherokee Expressway Industrial Park Site #10 – Tulsa, Oklahoma

  • Located right off the highway and seven miles from the interstate
  • Strong fiber infrastructure
  • Low risk of seismic activity
  • Eligibility for tax increment financing

7. The 59 Industrial Park Site – Victoria, Texas

  • 200 developable acres
  • Extremely low seismic rating
  • Low cost of power at $0.0550 per kWh
  • Located along an interstate highway

8. Progress Park – Wytheville, Virginia

  • 717 developable acres
  • Far from any potential geopolitical turmoil
  • Low probability for natural disasters
  • Easily accessible via two major interstates

9. Roanoke County Center for Research & Technology – Roanoke, Virginia

  • Favorable fiber access
  • Low risk for tornadoes and seismic activity
  • Close to a main interstate and regional jet service
  • Eligible for tax increment financing

10. Ignition Park – South Bend, Indiana

  • Existing co-location data center in park
  • Strong utilities (electric, water, nat gas and fiber)
  • 4 miles south of Notre Dame University
  • 5 miles from I-80/90 and 100 miles from Chicago

To view the full site prospectus for each location, visit our data center site. What are the most important factors for your organization when siting a new data center? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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