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U.S. Data Center Power Market Size to Reach Revenues of around USD 10 Billion by 2026 – Arizton
Mar 11, 2021, 14:00 ET
CHICAGO, March 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — In-depth analysis and data-driven insights on the impact of COVID-19 included in this U.S. data center power market report.
The U.S. data center power market is expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 4% during the period 2020−2026.
Key Highlights Offered in the Report:
- In 2020, the US market contributed to around 47% of the total investment in the global power market, with South Eastern US leading investments within the US with around 36% of the investment.
- In 2020, over 40 data center investments witnessed across Western US with total investment of USD 5.6 billion.
- The adoption of VRLA batteries will continue to dominate the market; however, the penetration of lithium-ion UPS among data center operators is growing YoY.
- Significant investments by hyperscale data center operators namely Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and AWS will grow the adoption of rack-level UPS systems of <=500 kVA capacity, with sizable contribution from edge data center deployments across the US.
- Electricity pricing varies significantly in the US with South Eastern US offering electricity at a lower price of 5.92 cents per kWh, and Northeastern US with an average electricity pricing of 10.11 cents per kWh.
- Market Size & Forecast by Revenue | 2020−2026
- Market Dynamics – Leading trends, growth drivers, restraints, and investment opportunities
- Market Segmentation – A detailed analysis by infrastructure, UPS system capacities, generators system capacities, tier standards, and geography
- Competitive Landscape – 7 key vendors and 45 other vendors
Get your sample today! https://www.arizton.com/market-reports/united-states-data-center-power-market
U.S. Data Center Power Market – Segmentation
- For the optimal performance, the data center power infrastructure is an essential component. It supplies power to IT equipment, cooling infrastructure, networking equipment, and other related infrastructure. The adoption of lithium-ion batteries is growing significantly YOY in the US market.
- In South Western US, diesel generators are more likely to be adopted than bi-fuel or natural gas ones. Generators are usually built with N+1 redundancy in the region. Diesel generators are expected to decline in the coming years because of increasing concerns over carbon emissions. Fuel cell generators will also is likely to slow down the demand for other generator systems by 2026. The use of portable generators is also growing in the US market.
- The (<=)500 kVA UPS market is higher among small- and medium-sized data centers. The growth of less than 500 kVA UPS system will be high among prefabricated and hyperscale operators. There are multiple small- and medium-sized data centers with a power density of less than 1 MW capacity that are adopting these UPS systems with a capacity of less than 500 kVA.
U.S. Data Center Power Market by Infrastructure
- Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) Systems,
- Power Distribution Units (PDUs)
- Transfer Switches & Switchgears
U.S. Data Center Power Market by UPS Systems
- >1,000 kVA
U.S. Data Center Power Market by Generators
- 1−2 MW
- >2 MW
U.S. Data Center Power Market by Tier Standards
- Tier I & II
- Tier III
- Tier IV
U.S. Data Center Power Market – Dynamics
High data center power consumption and the need for arresting carbon emissions have prompted many data center service providers to purchase clean, renewable energy sources to power their current and new facilities in the US. In terms of regions, Mid-Western US has some has locations such as Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan, where there is a significant development of data centers. For instance, the hyperscale operator Facebook signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Lincoln Land Wind Project in Illinois, which will support 170 MW power in their data center in August 2020. In January 2020, American Electric Power announced the supply of 240MW of green energy to its customers, including to Google’s New Albany data center. AWS announced two new projects in Ohio, with a power capacity of 200MW and an 80MW solar power plant to power the facility.
Key Drivers and Trends fueling Market Growth:
- Innovative Data Center Technologies
- Innovative UPS Battery Technology
- COVID-19 Boosts Data Center Demand
- Increase in Power Outages
U.S. Data Center Power Market – Geography
Within the region, Virginia led the data center investment, with over 20 projects in 2020 and 50% of the total share of investments. The major investors in Virginia were CyrusOne, COPT Data Centers, Digital Realty, Aligned, Compass Data Centers, EdgeCore Internet Real Estate, Element Critical, and Iron Mountain. Virginia is among the biggest and most active data center markets in the US. It is also the leading market for data centers across the world due to its strong connectivity through fiber-optic infrastructure that runs across the region by Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation’s (MBC) advanced fiber-optic broadband system. The average electricity pricing for Virginia is around $6 cents per kWh.
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U.S. Data Center Power Market by Geography
– South Eastern US
– Western US
– South Western US
– Mid-Western US
– North Eastern US
- Schneider Electric
- Vertiv Group
Other Prominent Vendors
- AEG Power Solutions
- Advanced Energy (Artesyn)
- Black Box Network Services (AGC Networks)
- Bloom Energy
- Bxterra Power Technology
- Chatsworth Products
- Cisco Systems
- Emcor Group
- Cyber Power Systems
- Controlled Power Company
- Delta Power Solutions
- Detroit Diesel
- EAE Elektrik
- Elcom International
- Exide Technologies
- Fuji Electric
- Generac Power Systems
- Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)
- Hitachi Hi-Rel Power Electronics
- HITEC Power Protection
- Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
- Natron Energy
- Marathon Power
- Piller Power Systems
- Plug Power
- Rittal Systems
- Riello Elettronica Group
- Saft (Total)
- Socomec Group
- Tripp Lite
- Virtual Power Systems
- Western Telematic, Inc. (WTI)
- Yanmar Group (HIMOINSA)
- ZAF Energy Systems
Explore our data center knowledge base profile to know more about the industry.
Read some of the top-selling reports:
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Overland Park, KS – March 3, 2021 – INDATEL has been in partnership with Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC) for a little over a year now, helping them to expand their reach and connect those in rural America.
MBC is a Virginia-based leader in creating unique public-private partnerships to build and operate open-access fiber networks. MBC has built nearly 2,000 route miles of fiber in Southern Virginia to bring competition and drive down costs to accelerate digital inclusiveness. MBC’s middle-mile fiber network provides affordable infrastructure and carrier-class broadband connectivity to drive economic growth.
According to Dave Keller, Vice President of Sales and Business Development at MBC, the company chose to become a member of INDATEL due to an existing connection. “We are a member of a consortium called LIT Networks that is also a member of INDATEL,” Dave explained. “I also previously worked for Valley Net, a company who has a lot of experience with the team at INDATEL, so I got to see the progress they made over the last five years in providing services and opportunities within our Virginia market. That was the main driver for us.”
When asked what sets INDATEL apart in the industry, Dave explained that he believes it’s INDATEL’s unique coverage and their ability to stitch together smaller independent networks like MBC in an effective manner. “I use the word ‘effective’ very concretely, as many times other consortiums aren’t as successful at stitching networks together,” he said. “INDATEL has done a really great job at doing so.”
MBC has grown quite extensively over the last five years in their relationships with carriers, as well as their relationship with INDATEL. The company has seen a significant change in broadband requirements through the pandemic and responded to that change by investing in more fiber infrastructure and supporting rural fiber broadband in their community.
As for the future, MBC is looking forward to broadening their reach even further using INDATEL’s Connect to Fiber platform. “We really feel that the marketing with INDATEL in a joint manner is going to be beneficial to both parties,” Dave said.
INDATEL Services provides fiber connectivity utilizing its unique independent member-owned network. INDATEL’s members represent more than 400,000 fiber optic route miles and over 1.5 million serviceable buildings primarily focused on rural and suburban America. INDATEL serves its customers through its national aggregation PoPs, reaching over 700 independent providers currently operating in 47 states. For more information about INDATEL Services, visit www.indatel.com.
MBC President & CEO Tad Deriso will serve on a panel of global telecom experts for Henrico EDA’s Global Connectivity webinar on February 23rd.
Please see the press release from Henrico EDA below for more information on the webinar and how to register.
HENRICO TO HOST GLOBAL CONNECTIVITY WEBINAR WITH DE-CIX, FACEBOOK, GLOBENET, TELXIUS, INTERGLOBIX AND MBC
International connectivity leaders to share how Henrico, Virginia’s latest advancements in data communications give businesses the competitive edge
HENRICO, VIRGINIA, February 12, 2021 – On February 23 at 1:00 p.m. (EST), the Henrico Economic Development Authority will host the “Global Connectivity Enhancements” webinar. Topics will include the arrival of Google-owned Dunant, a transatlantic subsea cable with record-breaking capacity, as well as the addition of a new neutral interconnection platform at the Richmond Virginia Internet Exchange (RVA-IX) and Telxius Network PoP enhancements. Executives from DE-CIX, Facebook, GlobeNet, Telxius, Interglobix and Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities (MBC) Corporation will serve on the panel. The discussion is the third installment of the Henrico Internet Infrastructure Webinar series.
“Businesses interact with an endless stream of data on a daily basis – from emails, to cloud storage, to teleconferencing with partners halfway across the world,” said Anthony Romanello, Henrico Economic Development Authority Executive Director. “For them, the difference between winning and losing can be a matter of seconds; those data connections have to be fast, vast, and reliable. In Henrico, we check off all of those boxes. We’re amplifying our data infrastructure to help companies expand their global reach, outpace competitors, and gain the competitive edge.”
Dunant, spanning from France to the QTS Richmond Network Access Point (NAP) in Henrico, offers an enormous 250 Tbps capacity – fast enough to transmit the entire digitized Library of Congress three times every second. The recently installed Telxius Network PoP will offer connectivity services on Dunant. This heightened connection to France is in addition to the international connectivity services offered on MAREA and BRUSA, two subsea cables that extend to Spain, Brazil, and Puerto Rico.
Additionally, RVA-IX’s much-anticipated integration with DE-CIX interchanges in Chicago, New York, and Dallas will create the largest neutral interconnection ecosystem in North America, providing virtually instant connection with the leading IX operator’s more than 2,100 networks and 500 data centers around the world.
“When our businesses win, we all win,” continued Romanello. “In 2018, Central Virginia data centers alone generated $341 million in economic impact. It’s not just about enhancing our global connectivity; it’s what those enhancements can do to generate a robust economy for residents and companies to enjoy.
“DE-CIX’s new platform in Richmond will transform interconnection, peering, and Cloud Exchange services for businesses throughout the region,” said Vinay Nagpal, data center connectivity leader, executive director of the Internet Ecosystem Innovation Committee (IEIC), and president of InterGlobix. “This exciting enhancement – in addition to fast, direct subsea connectivity to multiple countries – will enable businesses to accelerate their digital transformation. The advancements will also help propel the development of the carrier-neutral and data center-neutral ecosystem currently underway in Henrico.”
Interested in attending the “Global Connectivity Enhancements” webinar and learning how Henrico can help your business? Reserve your spot now. Registration is free, but space is limited.
MBC and QTS Data Centers Announce New Diverse Fiber Route into QTS Richmond NAP
February 1, 2021 (South Boston, Virginia). Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC) and QTS Realty Trust (NYSE: QTS), a leading provider of hybrid colocation and mega scale data center solutions, today announced a brand-new diverse 432 strand fiber cable into the QTS Richmond NAP. This new fiber cable owned by MBC enters the QTS campus through a new southern entrance on Portugee Road and connects directly to MBC’s existing dark fiber and wholesale optical transport network to meet growing capacity demands and fiber route diversity requirements at the QTS Richmond NAP.
MBC has also lit the new route using multi-Terabit line system technology, providing wholesale 10G, 100G and alien wave services. MBC’s open-access network also provides dark fiber along this new path, connecting to other fiber networks and carriers in Virginia.
“With the continued expansion of the QTS Richmond NAP from National and International carriers driven by explosive growth in data traffic during the global pandemic and subsea fiber cables in Virginia Beach, MBC invested in this new fiber route to provide network diversity in response to our customers’ evolving communications needs,” said Tad Deriso, President & CEO of MBC. “We remain committed to expanding our fiber network infrastructure throughout Virginia and the mid-Atlantic region to meet the expanding connectivity needs of our customers.”
“QTS is pleased to have MBC make an investment and build a new connection to the QTS Richmond NAP to provide even more reliability to our growing ecosystem,” said Sean Baillie, EVP Connectivity Strategy at QTS. “We are confident this new route through our new Portugee Road south entrance is the first of many to take advantage of our investment in network resiliency to meet the robust connectivity demands of our customers.”
Turning up the new fiber route into the QTS Richmond NAP provides additional capacity and route diversity for carriers and internet service providers in southern Virginia as well as subsea fiber optic cable routes that land in Virginia Beach and interconnect at the QTS Richmond NAP.
Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC) is committed to providing economic development leadership to Southern Virginia by operating a 1,900-route mile open-access fiber optic network. MBC provides wholesale telecommunications transport, dark fiber and colocation services to carriers and content providers. With presence in major internet peering exchange points in Ashburn, Richmond, and Atlanta, MBC reduces the cost of Internet access for wholesale customers and reduces the time and cost to reach customers in rural Virginia markets. MBC’s advanced fiber optic network supports job creation as a critical element in the recruitment of major commercial investments across several sectors, including data centers, call center/operations centers, advanced manufacturing, research and development, and logistics and distribution. For more information, please visit www.mbc-va.com.
QTS Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: QTS) is a leading provider of data center solutions across a diverse footprint spanning more than 7 million square feet of owned mega scale data center space within North America and Europe. Through its software-defined technology platform, QTS is able to deliver secure, compliant infrastructure solutions, robust connectivity and premium customer service to leading hyperscale technology companies, enterprises, and government entities. Visit QTS at www.qtsdatacenters.com, call toll-free 877.QTS.DATA or follow on Twitter @DataCenters_QTS.
MBC Media Contact
QTS Media Contact:
Carter B. Cromley
Governor Northam Announces Crown Holdings to Create 126 Jobs in Henry County
~ Company will invest $145 million to establish new aluminum beverage can production facility ~
RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Crown Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCK), an industry leader in metal packaging technology, will invest $145 million to establish a manufacturing operation in Henry County. The company will build a 355,000-square-foot aluminum beverage can production facility in the Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina and South Carolina for the project, which will create 126 new jobs.
“We are thrilled to see a longtime Virginia employer and Fortune 500 company like Crown Holdings select Henry County for its new East Coast manufacturing operation,” said Governor Northam. “The addition of 126 high-quality jobs is a huge opportunity for the people of Southern Virginia, and the region’s tireless efforts to build a skilled workforce pipeline will benefit the company for decades to come. We thank Crown for again choosing to reinvest in the Commonwealth, and look forward to its continued success here.”
Founded in 1892 and headquartered in Yardley, Pennsylvania, Crown Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is a leading global supplier of rigid packaging products to consumer marketing companies, as well as transit and protective packaging products, equipment, and services to a broad range of end markets. Ranked 272 on the Forbes Fortune 500, Crown Holdings has operations in 47 countries employing over 33,000 people. Operating in Virginia for more than 60 years, the company has facilities in Frederick County and the City of Suffolk as well as subsidiary operations in Henry County and Pittsylvania County, employing more than 200 total employees.
“This project is much-needed good news as we work to create quality jobs during the pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Southern Virginia continues to attract manufacturing projects that build on its industry legacy, and we are committed to working with our partners to provide the business environment and the talent pool to support it.”
“This investment further demonstrates Crown’s commitment to support its customers in meeting the increased demand for aluminum beverage cans,” said Timothy J. Donahue, President and Chief Executive Officer of Crown Holdings, Inc. “The Henry County plant will give Crown a stronger position in the specialty can market, while allowing Crown to better serve the needs of customers and consumers for more sustainable packaging. On behalf of Crown, I would like to thank our many partners for their enthusiasm and cooperative effort in this initiative, including Governor Northam, the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation, Henry County, the Harvest Foundation of the Piedmont, Southwestern Virginia Gas, Appalachian Electric Power, Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation, and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a performance-based grant of $3 million from the Virginia Investment Performance Grant, an incentive that encourages continued capital investment by existing Virginia companies. Governor Northam also approved a $1 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Henry County with the project. Crown Holdings is eligible to receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program, as well as the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
“The investment of $145 million is the largest initial capital commitment a company has ever made in Henry County,” said Jim Adams, Chairman of the Henry County Board of Supervisors. “That commitment shows the faith that Crown Holdings has in our citizens and our team. We are beyond excited about this announcement and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.”
“This investment by Crown Holdings, Inc. in Henry County is an important addition to Virginia’s growing food and beverage packaging industry,” said John Reinhart, Virginia Port Authority CEO and Executive Director Emeritus. “We have invested in our terminals to better serve clients like Crown Holdings and its peers, and we look forward to helping this industry expand into new international markets.”
“This announcement by Crown Holdings is yet another success story for our region on why industries want to ‘build it here and keep it here’ in Henry County,” said Senator William M. Stanley. “We have worked hard to restore this community as a leader in manufacturing, as it once was not so long ago. Crown Holdings is a great partner with Henry County, and will be both now and in the future. More than 120 citizens of our area, and their families, will benefit from this significant investment with these new jobs. I can’t thank the Governor and VEDP enough for their continued focus on job creation in our region.”
“This is a great day for our region with Crown Holdings, Inc. bringing 126 new jobs to Henry County,” said Delegate Danny Marshall. “We welcome the aluminum beverage can manufacturing plant to Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre. The $145 million investment, along with all the jobs created, will provide an amazing boost to the local economy. We appreciate Crown Holdings for building its new manufacturing facility here, and we wish them the greatest success.”
This article was published in the 5th Issue of InterGlobix Magazine. To view this article on the InterGlobix website, click here.
Sparking Innovation in Southern Virginia
When Microsoft and Mid-Atlantic Broadband collaborate, innovation happens.
Published in Issue 5 | December 2020
It is not every day a global IT company makes a large investment in rural America. Southern Virginia, however, has benefited from multiple investments by Microsoft since 2010. Mid-Atlantic Broadband (MBC), a 501(c)4 nonprofit open-access middle mile fiber provider, with a mission of economic development leadership for Southern Virginia, has been a key partner to Microsoft in this region since the beginning. What started with MBC enabling open access fiber connectivity to the Microsoft data center in Mecklenburg County has grown and transformed into a partnership between MBC and Microsoft TechSpark to promote digital skills and employability through the creation of the SOVA Innovation Hub.
In August 2010, Microsoft announced the largest economic investment in the history of Southern Virginia— they would invest $499 million to locate their Gen4 data center in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. They needed a powerful fiber connection, and Mid-Atlantic Broadband’s (www.mbc-va.com) open-access fiber optic network was up to the task. Cited as a key component in Microsoft’s decision to locate in Mecklenburg County, MBC provided Microsoft the access they required to diverse, high capacity, low latency routes for connectivity from the data center to major carrier interconnection points throughout the eastern United States.
Since 2010, Microsoft has expanded their Mecklenburg data center several times, and MBC has continued to support fiber connectivity to the growing facility. In 2015, MBC and Microsoft supported the formation of the IT Academy at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) to boost the pipeline of qualified data center employees. The SVHEC IT Academy was duplicated at Southside Virginia Community College and then became the model for Microsoft Data Center Academies worldwide.
THE SOVA INNOVATION HUB
In April 2019, another partnership between MBC and Microsoft was conceived through an initiative called Microsoft TechSpark. Microsoft TechSpark fosters job creation and economic opportunity in seven North American communities by promoting digital skills and employability, increasing access to broadband, and helping local organizations thrive. The SOVA Innovation Hub was announced as the signature project for TechSpark Southern Virginia.
The SOVA Innovation Hub is a non-profit organization created to spark economic transformation in Southern Virginia by inspiring people to pursue digital careers and entrepreneurship by bringing together business and education partners to offer innovative programs.
To view this article as it originally appeared on SoVaNow.com, click here.
Microsoft snaps up land at three industrial parks
By Susan Kyte
SoVaNow.com / December 23, 2020
Microsoft Corporation has purchased all or most of the land in three industrial parks located in Mecklenburg County — Hillcrest Industrial Park in South Hill, Roanoke River Regional Business Park located between La Crosse and Brodnax, and Lakeside Commerce Park near Clarksville.
All three land transfers occurred in the past week.
Details are scant on the transactions, through which Microsoft Corporation acquired nearly 900 acres of land from five local economic development entities — the Mecklenburg County IDA, Brunswick County IDA, Town of Clarksville EDA, Chase City EDA and the Town of South Hill.
The Mecklenburg and Brunswick industrial development authorities share ownership of the Roanoke River Regional Business Park. Economic development authorities in Clarksville and Chase City own the Lakeside Commerce Park on U.S. 58 together with Mecklenburg County, and the Town of South Hill owned Hillcrest Industrial Park.
When contacted about the sale, Mecklenburg County Administrator Wayne Carter said he was not at liberty to disclose any information, though he did confirm that the closings had occurred.
Carter also said that Microsoft did not acquire all of the property located in the Roanoke River Regional Business Park. That park is home to American Industrial Heat Transfer, Inc., which manufactures heat exchangers, and it also houses a 50,000 square foot shell building on a 10-acre site near the entrance onto U.S. 58. Both properties were excluded from the sale.
Two buildings located inside the Lakeside Commerce Park near Clarksville — which serve as home to VETS, Inc., a technology services company, and Home Care Delivered, a medical supplies and equipment company — also were not included in the sale.
Clarksville Town Manager Jeff Jones said the Clarksville EDA still owns a 340-acre parcel that abuts Occoneechee State Park and the Lakeside Commerce Park. This land also was not included in the sale.
Detailed questions about the transaction were directed to representatives of Microsoft’s public relations agency. The staff will be away from the office until Jan. 4, according to an auto reply message received by The Sun.
In September, in anticipation of the transfer, South Hill Town Council approved a change to the town’s zoning ordinance to allow data centers to be located in industrial I-G and I-P districts as a matter of right. The ordinance defines “data center” as a “group of networked computer servers typically used by organizations for the remote storage, processing, or distribution of data.”
When asked about the reasoning behind the change at the time, town officials said it nothing more than a routine matter that would allow the property to be marketed to a broader business clientele.
The 138-acre Hillcrest Business Park sits at the interchange of I-85 and Highway 1 on the northern edge of South Hill near VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.
Promotional materials about the park developed by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) note that the park “can easily accommodate a 1.128 million square foot facility, has a 500,000-gallon water storage tank and a helipad on site, and a fiber node,” a common network box for internet service.
Lakeside Commerce Park is described by VEDP as a 650-acre park that features a campus-like setting that is perfect for technology companies from an existing fiber node. It is accessed from U.S. 58 just east of downtown Clarksville and Occoneechee State Park.
Roanoke River Regional Business Park is located between La Crosse and Brodnax off U.S. 58. The business park was qualified by Dominion Power for data center projects. Its location provides quick access to both Interstate 85 and 95, and the nearby Mecklenburg-Brunswick Regional Airport.
Since 2010 when Microsoft began construction of its data center in Boydton, the company has invested more than $2 billion in the project and built more than 1.1 million square feet of space to house its cloud computing equipment. The Microsoft cloud computing campus represents the largest economic investment in southern Virginia history.
Carter thanked Microsoft for its tremendous contribution to the economies of Mecklenburg County and its continued involvement in the area.
Microsoft is a publicly held corporation established in 1975 and headquartered in Redmond, Wash., with revenues surpassing $100 billion and more than 134,000 employees worldwide. The computing giant has created nearly 1,800 jobs in Virginia. Approximately 300 of those have been in Mecklenburg County.
View this article as it originally appeared on the Gazette-Virginian website here.
Microsoft TechSpark celebrates third anniversary, looks forward to 2021 as construction wraps up at new South Boston headquarters
Microsoft TechSpark will have a new headquarters in the new year — in a newly constructed, state-of-the-art building in downtown South Boston.
The program is celebrating the third anniversary of its founding, and in 2021, the Southern Virginia region of the program will be based on the first floor of the SOVA Innovation Hub at 715 Wilborn Ave.
“TechSpark is a civic program that’s aimed at job creation and economic growth in rural communities,” explained Jeremy Satterfield, Microsoft TechSpark Southern Virginia manager. “Southern Virginia was one of the seven regions chosen by Microsoft to deploy the TechSpark program.”
Satterfield shared a list of accomplishments Microsoft TechSpark has made in the past three years, and with the opening of the SOVA Innovation Hub, he anticipates the expansion and continued success of those programs.
“Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) has expanded into every high school in the Southern Virginia TechSpark region, Girls Who Code clubs have sprouted up in Halifax County and Mecklenburg County, free public WiFi networks were deployed in Boydton and Clarksville, the ChangeX program was launched, and of my signature project, the SOVA Innovation Hub, was announced,” Satterfield detailed. “There are numerous organizations in Southern Virginia that are doing phenomenal things, but our hope is that bringing those existing organizations, and new ones, together, we will help drive impact deeper throughout the region.”
The Hub is a collaboration between Microsoft and Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation. The building in which the Hub will be housed is still under construction, and Satterfield estimated the doors of the Hub would be open in mid-February 2021. It is the first new building to be constructed in downtown South Boston in more than four decades.
In the midst of a global health pandemic and a time of economic uncertainty, the two-story, 15,000-square-foot SOVA Innovation Hub dominates the landscape of the town of South Boston like a lighthouse guiding captains of ships in the darkness of a stormy night. And like the captain of a ship navigating and charting a vessel’s course, Microsoft TechSpark seeks to give Southside Virginia residents the skills to compete in today’s high-tech workforce. New job creation in the area is a potential impact of the innovative collaboration at the Hub.
“The intent for the Innovation Hub has always been to bring programming and training opportunities to the residents of Southern Virginia. We see the opportunity to work with individuals in every stage of their lives, K-12 students, college students, career changers and those life-long learners,” Satterfield said. “We can certainly envision that technology based jobs and opportunities could spawn from collaborative innovation, but our primary focus will be bringing those programming and training opportunities to the forefront for Southern Virginia residents.”
The Micosoft TechSpark Southern Virginia manager said he sees one of the organization’s programs, the Girls Who Code Club, growing “exponentially” with the opening of the SOVA Innovation Hub, because partners will be on site to assist with the launching of new clubs.
Satterfield related that the Girls Who Code Club was started after he held an event in Halifax County with the Mentor Role Model Program in April 2018. Microsoft TechSpark decided to launch a Girls Who Code Club in partnership with the Mentor Role Model Program and the Halifax County Middle School, and the club has actively met for two years.
“That particular program focuses on girls in diversity and was designed to work with children to give them exposure to things they normally could not get exposure to,” explained Angela Townes Yancey of the Mentor Role Model Program. “It really opened up the doors of opportunity for a lot of these young ladies to see that coding can be so many things. It can be creating web pages…It can be fun, it can be interesting.”
Yancey said taking the Girls Who Code class in the sixth grade opened up her daughter Aniyah Yancey’s eyes to a new career pathway. Before taking the class, Yancey, who is now in the ninth grade, had expressed an interest in becoming a nurse but did not like the sight of blood.
“Girls Who Code opened a door for her because she realized that she doesn’t have to be a nurse to help people. Now she decided, she wants to go into information technology, but in the nursing field – IT and health occupations,” Yancey said.
Microsoft TechSpark is committed to providing technology-based educational training opportunities not only to school-aged students but also to adults seeking to upgrade their workforce skills.
Microsoft recently partnered with gener8tor and the SOVA Innovation Hub to bring a free, virtual, self-paced upskilling program to residents across Southern Virginia to help them sharpen their knowledge and abilities in customer service/ sales, Satterfield shared. The participants completed the five-week program on Nov. 20. and are currently working with mentors and coaches to identify and apply for employment opportunities.
While having a skill set in technology has always been important to be competitive in today’s workforce, the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the need for those technology skills with many employees working remotely from home, Satterfield commented.
“At a time when a record number of Americans are working from home across the United States, most rural residents lack vital digital skills that can unlock opportunities in the new digital economy,” Satterfield stated. “In such an important time in history, we chose to partner with gener8tor and SOVA Innovation Hub to bring an upskilling opportunity to the residents of Southern Virginia that will position them to compete for advanced jobs regionally, as well as nationally. This new skilling opportunity will allow our lifelong residents to remain in the region while securing gainful employment.”
Yancey for one sees Microsoft making a home in South Boston at the SOVA Innovation Hub and bringing more opportunity to the residents here as a major plus for the area.
“I think having Microsoft here is a wonderful initiative,” she said. “Hopefully having Microsoft here will create doors that can be opened and the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center will give us the resources to open the doors.”
Miranda Baines is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If We Build It, Will They Come? Lessons from Open-Access, Middle-Mile Networks
by Jordan Arnold & Jonathan Sallet
Published by the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society
Click below to read.