Grand Sky, an unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) business and aviation park in North Dakota, has a signed a letter of intent with Grand Forks, N.D.-based EdgeData LLC to establish a 16,000-square-foot data center at Grand Sky.
Construction of the facility is tentatively planned to begin in spring 2017 and become fully operational within the following 12 months.
“For the UAS industry, as well as a number of other industries, the real value of operations lies in the data produced through imagery and other technological applications,” comments Thomas Swoyer, Jr., president of Grand Sky Development Co. “This much needed data center will allow our tenants and companies from other industries to safely store data and more easily convert it into consumable information.”
The data center represents a capital investment of approximately $10 million, says Grand Sky. When complete, the facility will house an initial 72 cabinets of IT equipment in 6,000 square feet of hardened and conditioned data center space; space will also be available for future growth. The center will also feature redundant power, multiple fiber optic network connections and multiple layers of security.
According to Grand Sky, the data center facility and its tenants will benefit from incentives provided by the state of North Dakota through legislation that allows for tax-exempt equipment purchases through 2020. EdgeData executives and Grand Sky officials say the tax incentive was critical in EdgeData’s decision to establish a data center in the state.
State Rep. Mark Owens, R-Dist. 17, was one of several legislators to sponsor the bill.
“These data centers will bring high-tech jobs with matching salaries and support the growth of other small boutique businesses by providing the necessary IT support to grow these businesses,” he says. “Continuing to diversify the state’s economy is the only true way to grow jobs, expand paychecks and stimulate the state coffers without tax increases.”