In today’s economy, data centers are a prized economic development trophy. It speaks to the information economy reality, since data centers don’t really employ that many people, at least compared to manufacturing plants. Yet localities want them, and a Google or Facebook version is highly coveted. Montana is no different, and they want in on the data center action.
Bozeman Data Center
According to a Bozeman Daily Chronicle report, Montana officials, including the Governor are actively courting both Google and Facebook to place a data center in the Bozeman, MT region. Local economic development teams have been talking with both Google and Facebook for at least two years, and the Governor recently became involved, according to the report.
Nothing is imminent, but the report speaks to the competitive nature of localities courting high tech companies to bring information economy based facilities to their region. It’s a process that has played out in previous times, where a manufacturing plant was the goal. In many ways data centers now represent plants, at least from an economic development activity perspective.
Other states including Iowa and North Carolina have been successful in landing these data center deals. Companies like Google and Facebook recognize this competitive effort and have shrewdly linked incentives for investment and tax breaks into data center placement.
The Montana Governor’s office revealed a Google non-disclosure agreement that prevents them from even discussing the Bozeman data center activity, highlighting the competitive nature of data center development.