Data Center: TVA tabs Jackson site for possible data center

BY NED B. HUNTER for the Jackson Sun

The Tiger Jones Industrial Park has been designated as one of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s top 12 sites for a future data center.

The site is one of 12 areas designated by the TVA as favorable for future data centers that are built to house computers, telecommunication and data-storage systems for Internet search engine companies, financial transaction processors and other high-tech industries, according to a TVA news release.

“Demand for data centers is growing as increased use of electronic commerce and information technologies requires more data storage space,” John Bradley, senior vice president for TVA Economic Development, wrote in a news release. “There are exceptional opportunities for regional growth potential in this industry. These 12 sites in particular have the resources, infrastructure and other qualities needed to support strong data center development.”

The Tiger Jones Industrial Park is occupied by UGN Inc. and ARJ Manufacturing. The center was designated a prime data location center because of Jackson Energy Authority’s investment in the fiber-optic system and AT&Ts connectivity to the national fiber network, said Kyle Spurgeon, president Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce.

“We were able to rise to the top of all the sites evaluated in the TVA valley,” he said, “because Tiger Jones Industry Park has double redundancy on the fiber and electric side and that combination is extremely rare.”

Redundancy provides access to an alternate source of either electric or fiber service in the event the primary source fails, Spurgeon said.

The 12 cities designated by TVA as favorable for data centers included Duffield, Va.; Guntersville, Ala.; Hartselle, Ala.; Olive Branch, Miss.; Athens, Bristol, Fayetteville, Jackson, Lenoir City, Maryville, Murfreesboro and Tullahoma. The sites were chosen by the TVA and Chicago-based Deloitte Consulting from a total of 50 sites across the United States.

Spurgeon said data centers can create around 50 or more jobs that usually pay between $60,000 and $100,000 in annual salaries.


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