The Tennessee Valley Authority has identified a 28-acre site at Horizon Center in west Oak Ridge as a potential data center site, a designation that will help Oak Ridge recruit companies, an official said.
“Having a primary data center site in Oak Ridge is a tremendous advantage and will definitely give us a competitive edge when recruiting data center prospects,” said Kim Denton, president and chief executive officer of the Oak Ridge Economic Partnership.
TVA has designated the site as “ready to recruit” data centers, an OREP press release said. TVA hired Chicago-based Deloitte Consulting to identify and evaluate potential data center sites in TVA’s 80,000 square-mile region, which includes northern Alabama and six other southeastern states.
“Thus far, a total of 22 sites have been designated in the valley as pre-qualified sites with attributes ready for enterprise data centers and technology companies,” the release said. “Property attributes include accessibility, strong telecommunications infrastructure, and the availability of reliable, competitively-priced electric power.”
In the press release, Denton said TVA, Deloitte, Oak Ridge Electric Department, and the Industrial Development Board helped earn this designation.
“We’ve spent the last 18 months being proactive and preparing for the economy’s resurgence,” Denton said. “Site designations such as this one validate those efforts.”
“It is one of our major economic development roles to help communities like Oak Ridge prepare for growth opportunities and promote their area’s unique strengths to data centers and other targeted companies,” said John Bradley, TVA senior vice president of economic development. “TVA will partner with the Oak Ridge Electric Department, the Oak Ridge Economic Partnership, and Oak Ridge Industrial Development Board along with regional, state, and community partners to actively promote these sites to a global market.”
The 28-acre Horizon Center site is in the Roane County portion of Oak Ridge, seven miles east of I-40/I-75 and 21 miles from downtown Knoxville. It’s also close to Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the largest science and energy national laboratory in the U.S. and home to Titan, the most powerful computer in world, the press release said.