Niobrara NatGas LLC has announced that the final hurdle has been crossed in an ambitious new development site for the world’s next generation, most secure and fully contained data center and self-generated energy production facility. Having just been awarded the first gas utility in the state of Colorado in fifteen years, the company has now cleared the way for one of the world’s major cloud computing companies to develop a first-of-its-kind data center, capable of generating its own secure power and located in a truly unique area with fresh non-tributary water supply, telecommunications, electric, natural gas and fiber grids, creating a “digital Fort Knox” for the world’s next generation cloud computing.
The territory will serve the 662-acre Niobrara Data Center Energy Park located in northern Colorado. The project site, engineered by CH2M HILL, is zoned, process ready, strategically located, secure and flexible, offering distinct advantages for mission-critical development. It is at a nexus of all essential infrastructure enabling conventional, cloud computing data center development and innovative Microgrid development scenarios which offer the highest level of energy security and reliability. The site is federal cloud ready and capable of sustainable perpetual motion energy with ten to fifteen years of uninterruptable gas contracts that hedge the most expensive cost of data center operations: energy.
“In my travels I have yet to see such an innovative combined data center and energy efficient and cost saving project, much less this construction-ready,” said Michael Locatis, former CIO Department of Energy and Assistant Secretary Homeland Security for Cyber Security and Communications.
“The Niobrara Data Center Energy Park is a first of its kind design that companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, IBM or Apple should consider when looking at data centers,” said Erik Mitisek, the CEO of the Colorado Technology Association. “Because the Niobrara Data Center Energy Park is self-sufficient, it means a more secure data center without the power outages. In addition, the project takes into account all available renewable resources, including wind, solar and natural gas, maximizing both the financial and environmental impact to the purchaser. This is truly a design for the future that will make the cloud more secure.”
“By placing power generation and power consumption (the data centers) on the same side of the Microgrid substation, we have created a ‘digital Fort Knox.’” said Craig Harrison, GM of the new gas utility. “Unlike other technology parks, like the Reno Sparks Technology Park which was purchased by Apple, the Niobrara Data Center Energy Park features its own gas utility to serve natural gas to the power plants, fuel cell farm, direct heating, cooling and hot water within the various buildings located in the proposed complex. We have spent three years working with state and local governments making sure we have everything in place. The next step will be finding the right high balance sheet organization to seize on the incredible potential of the territory.”
Harrison added “The unique location of this new gas utility is its proximity to one of the largest gas hubs in America where approximately 5-7% of the USA gas flows daily and $4 billion of gas is traded annually. The Niobrara service territory is unique because there are 3 major gas transmission lines within it for a redundant gas supply, which is the critical clean and firm power for the Microgrid.” The on-site gas supply lines in the project have a capacity of 1.5 billion cubic feet per day. The gas power plant could then be combined with zoning-approved renewable energies of solar, fuel cells, energy storage and wind.”
“It all comes back to reliability. The reason we are looking at gas as a possibility is because it is generally more reliable,” said Brian Janous, Microsoft Utility architect for Data Center Advanced Development. “I don’t ever remember experiencing going and turning my stove on and gas not coming out. It’s always there.”
During construction, this $4.2 billion project will add thousands of construction jobs and ultimately create many high paying permanent jobs at full build out.
To learn more about this unique energy and data center project, go to http://www.niobraraenergypark.com/.