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Tennessee Valley Authority developing data center site in Nashville

By Donna Donowitz
February 28, 2011
Recently, the Tennessee Valley Authority has found a site in Nashville to house a new data center. The TVA’s economic development initiative has been searching for new locations in the area for centers in an attempt to further the economy. In all, the company has found 14 new sites.

The site, located at Starwood Commons, has already been certified as a top location for building and operating a data center.

"Recognizing these potential sites is an important part of TVA's economic development strategy to recruit data centers to our region," said John Bradley, senior vice president for TVA economic development. "The data center industry is growing rapidly and provides good-paying job opportunities for highly skilled employees."

These data centers will house the authority’s computer, telecommunications and storage systems. When choosing the appropriate site, TVA, in partnership with Deloitte Consulting, weighed the locations’ accessibility, telecommunications infrastructure and available of reliable electric power.

In addition to the Starwood Commons site, Deloitte found 13 development sites, eight of which are in Tennessee, two in Alabama, two in Mississippi and one in Virginia. TVA’s service area currently covers most of Tennessee, parts of Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky, as well as small areas in Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. In all, the company services roughly 9 million customers, covering 80,000 square miles.

Deloitte had originally chosen the Starwood site last year, but not as a prime location. However, the city of Nashville, including the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, made improvements and resubmitted its application, which Deloitte then dubbed a prime spot for TVA’s next center.

"The Nashville development community has taken the required steps to improve this site, and those extra efforts are paying off," said Ralph Schulz, president and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. "This site recognition by TVA and Deloitte tells the data center industry that we are ready for business."

TVA, which is the first large regional planning agency of the federal government, has begun partnering with local power companies as well as regional, state and community economic development leaders for its new data center initiative.

Like, TVA, many other major companies have begun developing additional data centers. Apple recently hinted at the construction of a new center in North Carolina, while the Social Security Administration has been developing a new massive center in Frederick County, Maryland.


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