data centers

istockphoto.com

The 2014 Wyoming Forum kicked off yesterday with a discussion of Wyoming’s tech scene between Governor Matt Mead and two prominent California entrepreneurs. One big topic was whether the Cheyenne-Laramie area or Jackson was the most promising for growth. 

Miles Bryan

Outsourcing government functions to private companies has long been a popular idea here in Wyoming. Now the state is leading the nation in taking that trend into the digital age. Wyoming will soon transfer much of its public data to the care of private companies, which will host it on the internet. State officials say this so called “cloud” hosting is cheaper and more efficient than state owned data centers. But putting all that public data in corporate hands has some privacy advocates nervous.

Wyoming is aggressively working to attract data centers to the state.  The industry magazine Expansion Solutions recently recognized the Cowboy State’s efforts to accommodate companies looking to build or expand their computing operations.

Wyoming Business Council CEO Bob Jensen says his organization targets trade shows, real estate directors and data management industry publications to promote Wyoming’s offerings, including a cool climate, cheap power, and lots of space to build.

Jensen says Wyoming has a lot of competition to attract these businesses.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming Business Council voted to approve all five of its Business Ready Community Grants today/Thursday.  Among them is a 5 point 4 million dollar grant to fund construction of a new data and technology park in Laramie.

Wyoming approves a poop for power project

Dec 6, 2012

The State Loan and Investment board approved a one point five million dollar community readiness grant to build a power plant that will use human waste to power a Microsoft data center.  

Construction of the Dry Creek Water Reclamation Facility begins in January.  The facility recycles common waste bi-products, creating a stream of biogas methane. This biogas is used as the fuel for a fuel cell. The Fuel Cell converts the biogas into electricity to power the Microsoft data center, which will be located in Cheyenne. 

A State Senator wants Wyoming to look into why important state data is being stored in Data Centers outside the Cowboy State.   Republican John Schiffer says that while the state is heavily invested in recruiting and creating data centers, he wonders why important Wyoming data is not stored locally. 

He says two highly-regarded data centers are already located in the state.

Bob Beck

 

Wyoming has long been thought of as a state that focuses on energy, tourism and in some circles ranching.  But the state has been trying to also make itself a player in technology.  It started in earnest a few years back that the National Center for Atmospheric Research or NCAR was coming to Wyoming.  The latest push has centered around Data Centers.  Wyoming is offering sales tax incentives and grant money to try and attract them to the state.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports that many believe they could be an important piece in diversifying the economy.

Governor Matt Mead’s efforts to land a Data Center for the state has paid off. Microsoft is going to build a 112 million dollar facility near Cheyenne that could employ up to 40 people. 

To attract Microsoft, Governor Mead says the state offered nearly 11 million dollars in incentives, but he believes that the state should get a great return on its investment and he says it will provide high paying jobs.  Mead has been touting the need for Data Centers and he says this is an important start.