Good News: More Data Centers Likely to Follow Apple to Northern Nevada

More Northern NV data centers likely to follow Apple
John Seelmeyer
jseelmeyer@nnbw.biz
RENO/TAHOE — More major data centers are on the horizon for the Reno-Sparks area, and the next announcement to follow last week’s news from Apple is expected soon.

Economic development officials won’t disclose the identities of the companies that are seriously looking at northern Nevada as the home for major data centers — the huge bank of computers serve that host so-called “cloud” services — but at least one company may be very close to announcing its plan.

And a couple more plans are well along, says Mike Kazmierski, president and chief executive officer of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada.

The arrival of multiple data centers in the region would mark an important watershed in the development of northern Nevada — the creation of an entirely new sector that provides the basic employment upon which businesses ranging from retail to medicine are built.

And the economic effects are even more pronounced, Kazmierski says, because data center jobs generally pay very well.

They also tend to create other technology jobs.

“If you get the data center, often you get more of the company over time,” the EDAWN president says. A company is likely, for instance, to locate some of its information-technology supply operation close to a major data center.

Apple, for instance, will develop a purchasing center in downtown Reno.

In the case of Apple, the economic benefits are multiplied further because the company is so well-respected that other corporations may give northern Nevada a closer look for new facilities simply because Apple likes the region.

The importance of that can’t be underestimated, says Steve Hill, executive director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

In fact, the third sentence of Hill’s announcement of the Apple decision last week read: “Apple’s decision to locate this data center in Nevada will open eyes across the country and throughout the world.”

Despite appearances, the arrival of major data centers in the region isn’t an all-of-a-sudden thing. They’re responding to changes in the region’s infrastructure that began more than a decade ago.

Among the big factors that are drawing the industry to the region is a steady decline of power rates.

“If you look at what is important to a data center, cost of utilities always are high on that list,” says Kazmierski.

Electric rates in northern Nevada have declined about 25 percent since the start of 2009, says Mary Simmons, NV Energy’s vice president for external affairs.

That’s largely a result of the sharp decline in the price of the natural gas that fuels the company’s generating station. NV Energy expects those natural gas prices to climb only slowly over the next three to five years, providing some predictability to companies that are building data centers.

But Simmons notes that NV Energy’s ability to capture the benefits of low natural gas prices arises only because of the company’s strategic decision a decade ago to build more of its own power plants to reduce its reliance on other suppliers.

Rates in the region are low, too, as more electricity is produced by geothermal, wind and solar plants — all of which don’t pay a penny for fuel once their capital-intensive facilities are in place.

“The trend downward is getting people’s attention,” says Kazmierski.

It’s getting even more attention because of the growing disparity between power rates in Nevada and those in California, where rates are about 35 percent higher than Nevada, says Simmons.

Nearly as important to data centers as electric cost is the reliability of the power system, and the NV Energy grid ranks among the 10 most reliable in the nation, says Brad Woodring, manager of economic development for the power company.

Along with the power consumed by servers in a data center, another big demand for electricity comes from the cooling systems that carry away the heat generated by the computers.

That’s where northern Nevada brings another natural advantage into play.

Its cool nights reduce the demand for air conditioning through many hours of the day. Low humidity also is important to improve the efficiency of a data center operation.

The geography of the Reno-Sparks area — it’s close to California, but not within the reach of the California taxman and regulator — also is drawing attention from developers of data centers.

Seismic studies place Reno and Sparks just outside the earthquake zone of the Sierra Nevada and northern California, and that’s a critical consideration for operators of data centers.

Nick Pavich, developer of the technology park east of Sparks that will be the home to Apple, told and industry group last year that his location is one of the few in the United States that also relatively safe from man-made disasters such as nuclear leaks.

And just as Interstate 80 and Highway 395 are critical pieces of the infrastructure for the logistics industry in the region, so is the availability of fiber optic lines for data centers.

Nancy McCormick, a former telecommunications executive who now works as vice president of EDAWN, notes that multiple telecomm companies run fiber into the region and send data from Reno across a number of routes to other cities.

That redundancy, she says, is another important consideration to data center operations that need to be online 24/7.

Kazmierski, meanwhile, says data center operators have been satisfied that they can find the skilled workers they need — Apple, for instance, will have 40 workers at its data center operations — and they think the region is attractive enough that they can recruit further talent.

The development of data centers in the region will provide a boost to the construction industry as well.

Kazmierski says relatively few of the vacant industrial buildings in the region meet the specialized needs of data centers. As a result, most will be built from the ground up.

Typically, a new data center demands an investment of $200 million to $300 million, the EDAWN chief says. The big Apple project, along with the facilities the company plans in downtown Reno, carries a $1 billion price tag.

The Apple projects alone are expected to generate nearly 600 construction jobs.

Remember We are Not French

LAND OF THE FREE
ON JULY 4, REMEMBER: WE ARE NOT FRENCH
Ann Coulter contrasts nature of 2 18th-century revolutions

by ANN COULTEREmail | Archive
Ann Coulter, well-known for her TV appearances as a political analyst, is an attorney and author. Her latest book is “Demonic.”
Note: This column is adapted from “Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America.”

It has become fashionable to equate the French and American revolutions, but they share absolutely nothing in common beyond the word “revolution.” The American Revolution was a movement based on ideas, painstakingly argued by serious men in the process of creating what would become the freest, most prosperous nation in world history.

The French Revolution was a revolt of the mob. It was the primogenitor of the horrors of the Bolshevik Revolution, Hitler’s Nazi Party, Mao’s Cultural Revolution, Pol Pot’s slaughter and America’s periodic mob uprisings from Shays’ Rebellion to today’s dirty waifs in the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd.

The French Revolution is the godless antithesis to the founding of America.

One rather important difference is that Americans did win freedom and greater individual rights with their revolution, creating a republic. France’s revolution consisted of pointless, bestial savagery, followed by Napoleon’s dictatorship, followed by another monarchy, and then finally something resembling an actual republic 80 years later.

Both revolutions are said to have come from the ideas of Enlightenment thinkers, the French Revolution informed by the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the American Revolution influenced by the writings of John Locke. This is like saying presidents Reagan and Obama both drew on the ideas of 20th-century economists – Reagan on the writings of Milton Friedman and Obama on the writings of Paul Krugman.

Locke was concerned with private property rights. His idea was that the government should allow men to protect their property in courts of law, in lieu of each man being his own judge and police force. Rousseau saw the government as the vessel to implement the “general will” and to create more moral men. Through the unchecked power of the state, the government would “force men to be free.”

As historian Roger Hancock summarized the theories of the French revolutionaries, they had no respect for humanity “except that which they proposed to create. In order to liberate mankind from tradition, the revolutionaries were ready to make him altogether the creature of a new society, to reconstruct his very humanity to meet the demands of the general will.”

Contrary to the purblind assertions of liberals, who dearly wish our Founding Fathers were more like the godless French peasants skipping around with human heads on pikes, our Founding Fathers were God-fearing descendants of Puritans and other colonial Christians.

As Steven Waldman writes in his definitive book on the subject, “Founding Faith,” the American Revolution was “powerfully shaped by the Great Awakening,” an evangelical revival in the colonies in the early 1700s that was led by the famous Puritan theologian Jonathan Edwards, among others. Aaron Burr, the third vice president of the United States, was Edwards’ grandson.

There are books of Christian sermons encouraging the American Revolution. Indeed, it was the very irreligiousness of the French Revolution that would later appall sensible Americans and British alike, even before the bloodletting began.

Americans celebrate the Fourth of July, the date our written demand for independence from Britain based on “Nature’s God” was released to the world.

The French celebrate Bastille Day, a day when a thousand armed Parisians stormed the Bastille, savagely murdered a half-dozen guards, defaced their corpses and stuck their heads on pikes – all in order to seize arms and gunpowder for more such tumults. It would be as if this country had a national holiday to celebrate the L.A. riots.

Among the most famous quotes from the American Revolution is Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death!”

Among the most famous slogans of the French Revolution is that of the Jacobin Club, “Fraternity or death,” recast by Nicolas-Sebastien de Chamfort, a satirist of the revolution, as “Be my brother or I’ll kill you.”

Our revolutionary symbol is the Liberty Bell, first rung to herald the opening of the new Continental Congress in the wake of the Battle of Lexington and Concord, and rung again to summon the citizens of Philadelphia to a public reading of the just-adopted Declaration of Independence.

The symbol of the French Revolution is the “National Razor” – the guillotine.

Of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, all died of natural causes in old age, with the exception of Button Gwinnett of Georgia, who was shot in a duel unrelated to the revolution.

Of all our Founding Fathers, only one other died of unnatural causes: Alexander Hamilton. He died in a duel with Aaron Burr because as a Christian, Hamilton deemed it a greater sin to kill another man than to be killed. Before the duel, in writing, Hamilton vowed not to shoot Burr.

President after president of the new American republic died peacefully at home for 75 years, right up until Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the French Revolution all died violently, guillotine by guillotine.

The Fourth of July also marks the death of two of our greatest Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who died on the same day, exactly 50 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed.

We made it for nearly another 200 years, before the Democrats decided to jettison freedom and make us French.