Late last year, ViaWest announced the expansion of its Colorado service footprint with the launch of a fifth Denver data center. The latest addition was Tier IV, 210,000 square foot facility in the southeast side of the city, and is just one of a number of data center operators to benefit from the advantages Denver has to offer.
Low Risk Geographic Location
One of the most attractive aspects of Denver for data center projects is the low risk of natural disasters in the region. The state is a key site for data center operators seeking a reduced threat area to support disaster recovery initiatives. Denver is typically free from serious natural episodes including earthquakes, tornadoes, floods and severe storms.
The area also provides a mild climate that can bolster data center cooling efficiencies. During the fall, winter and spring, facility operators can take advantage of air-side economization using the cool outdoor air for free cooling to reduce operating costs. Besides providing for lower electricity costs for operators, tenants also benefit from reduced total cost of ownership.
Denver data center projects also benefit from the robust utility and connectivity resources in the area. Entrepreneur Craig Harrison noticed this benefit when he purchased a tract of land in northern Colorado in 2010. Once he saw the area’s rich underground network of natural gas and fiber optic pipelines, he knew the land would be ideal for a data center.
According to The Denver Post, Harrison was working with CH2M Hill late last year to construct a facility on the land. These included the capacity to generate on-site gas-fired electricity, nearby high-voltage lines for redundant power resources as well as an underground aquifer to supply the structure with water. Not to mention the close proximity to high-speed data transmission access.
“Of all the attributes, the one he describes as ‘the killer application’ is the proposal to tap into underlying natural-gas lines to fuel an electric generation plant,” the Post stated. “CH2M Hill has calculated that by generating on-site gas-fired power instead of using electricity from the grid, operators could save at least 47 percent in annual power costs.”
Billie Haggard, CoreSite senior vice president of data centers, noted that the Denver area is a critical fiber relay point in North America, providing cost efficient and abundant power for IT and telecommunications service providers located in the region.
Other Denver Data Center Benefits
Besides serving data center operators and clients in Colorado, the Denver data center market can also provide cost efficient resources for California customers. Because California can be an expensive data center location, a number of organizations are seeking services nearby, including in Denver.
While Colorado does not provide statutory data center tax incentives for data center projects, it does offer potential tax abatements for data center operators that apply for them through the Colorado Economic Development Commission.
Late last year, Wired Real Estate sold a 14-acre, 275,000 square foot Denver data center campus to a California client, illustrating the benefits the region holds for out-of-state operators.