May 17, 2017 - 7:52 AM EDT
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New Study Highlights Shelby, MT as an Exceptional Rural Location in the West to Site a Data Center

SHELBY, Mont., May 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study indicates that Shelby, MT is an attractive low-cost rural location with infrastructure necessary to locate a data center. 

The recently released study details the city's infrastructure, workforce, tax incentives, construction and operating costs, climate and available property to help interested parties make decisions about siting a 15 megawatt (MW) data center in Shelby, MT.

Shelby, with population of 3,500 residents, is situated in north central Montana on Interstate 15 and the BNSF Railway Northern Corridor Mainline.  The City is 30 miles south of the Canadian border and 10 miles east of 399 MW of wind energy.

With its combination of cooler year-round weather and wealth of renewable wind energy, Shelby is an ideal location to construct air-cooled cloud computing data center facilities, according to the study.  Cold external air is becoming a big attraction for data center operators, and many high-profile cloud computing companies are building new data centers in relatively cold and windy locations to cut power and cooling costs.  Consequently, locating a data center in Shelby will result in dramatically lower power consumption costs associated with cooling.

The study also details how Shelby has several electrical renewable power options including hydropower and wind, creating a competitive market for data centers to secure power and negotiate power costs.  There are a number of renewable electrical power providers near Shelby such as Marias River Electric Cooperative, Western Area Power Administration, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, NaturEner, Energy Keepers and Enbridge.

Fiber optics access is also a critical component in placement of a data center, and the study highlights the various fiber optic providers that serve the Shelby area including two major tier 1 providers, Century Link and Zayo Group.  Other fiber optics providers that serve Shelby include Northern Telephone Cooperative, 3 Rivers Communications and Vision Net, as well as two Canadian fiber optics carriers, Axia and Shaw.  With all these fiber optics providers in the area, Shelby has good combination of fiber optics capacity and redundancy, and is connected to internet hubs all over the United States and Canada.

Shelby is an affordable place to site a data center. Shelby's fairly flat topography is ideal for a data center construction as earthwork requirements are minimal.  Industrial or commercial real estate in Shelby ranges from $2,000 to $10,000 per acre or $0.05 to $0.25 per square foot, which is considerably less than other potential sites across the nation.  

Average new data center construction in Shelby is estimated at $1,300 to $2,000 per square foot which includes construction, infrastructure, computer servers and other ancillary costs.

Shelby has a strong history of successfully siting and building large projects and is eager to support the construction of a data center.   The Shelby area easily accommodated a workforce of over 400 for a large power infrastructure project over a three year duration.  Moreover, Shelby has a large rail terminal (the Port of Northern Montana Multimodal Hub) on the BNSF Railway.   As the transport of construction materials can play a significant cost in project, the Multimodal Hub at Shelby provides an excellent low-cost option for transporting project materials.

The study also indicates Shelby has an abundant supply of water to provide the necessary cooling water for a data center.  Furthermore, Shelby has a modern wastewater treatment system that can accommodate data center cooling water discharge.

The City of Shelby has a Targeted Economic Development Tax Increment Financing (TEDTIF) District which can offer a substantial tax incentive and tax reduction for companies locating within the district.  In addition to Shelby's TEDTIF district, the study notes that there is no sales tax in Montana.

Shelby is readily accessible by car, plane, bus and train.  Shelby is located at the intersection of Interstate 15 and Highway 2.  Shelby is home to an Amtrak train station with both bus and train services. The Amtrak train station provides service west to Seattle and east to Chicago.  The local Shelby airport is located approximately two miles north of town and provides daily services to local airports in the surrounding area. The Great Falls International Airport is located approximately 80 miles to the south and provides several commercial airline services.

The City stands ready to welcome a data center and will help in any way possible to accommodate facility requirements. Shelby has an excellent track record of economic development in the region, and has helped multiple businesses and industries locate in Shelby by providing tax incentives, teaming with businesses to identify and pursue funding, and providing connection options to existing City infrastructure.

More importantly, the study summarizes that Shelby has all the necessary infrastructure for a data center.   Not only is Shelby a feasible data center location, it is an ideal location due to its rural setting, cool climate, and accessibility.  Furthermore, there are numerous financial incentives which make Shelby an attractive location to site a data center.

For more information, please refer to the Shelby Data Center Feasibility Study or contact Larry Bonderud of the City of Shelby at 406-434-5222 or [email protected].

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

SOURCE City of Shelby

Source: PR Newswire (May 17, 2017 - 7:52 AM EDT)

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