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14 Sep 2023

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Several New Data Centers in Two U.S. States Coming Online

Data center operators used to try to hide their massive installations, out of a combination of concerns about security and press coverage. Google and Amazon in particular would go out of their way to stonewall any attempts to learn that they, for example, were setting up on the banks of the Columbia River in Oregon.

Companies are now, in general, more transparent about their locations, even proud of them. Facebook very publicly opened up 900,000 square feet of data center space in DeKalb, IL (about 60 miles west of Chicago) three years ago, and is now expanding its footprint to 2.4 million square feet (about 50 acres).

Now comes word that Dallas-based Compass Datacenters is acquiring the former Sears headquarters in Hoffman States, in suburban Chicagoland. The sprawling 197-acre site has office buildings that are expected to be demolished to make way for the new data facility. Another operator from Dallas, Stream Data Centers, plans to build a new data center in a former residential subdivision in suburban Elk Grove Village, not far from O'Hare International Airport.

In another part of the US, Sabey has announced it will invest more than $500 million in a new data center in the small eastern Oregon town of Umatilla, along the Columbia River. The new facility will sit west of existing data centers operated by Amazon.

There's nothing hidden about any of these new projects, and no significant pushback by local residents seems to be apparent. Developers cite the increased real-estate tax revenues that accrue to the municipalities involved, and both Illinois and Oregon appear to have plentiful electricity to supply the new plants.

Photo of DeKalb Data Center from Meta.

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